Devin Dearing Preston: NYC writer, playwright, and storyteller

Father of mine,

July 22, 2011

Its summer here in New York. The heat is cooking us slowly and reminding me of Texas and our weekend trips to the pool.

The long bike rides to the WAC. The hours spent splashing around while you laid out in the sun, covered in oil, listening to am talk shows or was it baseball games on your mini portable radio, oblivious of our tricks and stunts to steal your attention. Praying that you would get hot enough to get in the water and throw me off of your shoulders or let me win a race to the other side. Wait patiently for a “word from our sponsor” to swindle you out of yet another mini lesson in how to dive properly.

“Not like that, Dev. Tuck yer head!” I knew if I did it wrong a few times, the lesson might last a little longer.

“Like this dad?”

“That’s better. Watch yer sister. She’s a natural.” you’d say, and flop over to let the sun paint your broad back brown to match.

The memories are a little fuzzy. Faded like all of our pictures from that time, the shape and sentiment of the experience the only thing remaining. I still feel drawn to the pool side on days like today. Not to improve my tan, lord knows. That’s a goal I gave up on in high school. Your rich olive complex yet another thing you failed to give me. Mom’s ivory skin makes my ventures back to the pool cluttered with bottles of super strong sunscreen, hats the size of Manhattan and cover-ups that would make any Florida retiree jealous.

But I happily load my tote with these things to find myself, gazing into the blue chlorinated, tepid water, overdressed and slightly out of place. But a little closer to you.

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Categories: Letters I Will Never Send

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