When you’re on the rowing machine at the local YMCA, and see your father looking back from the mirror facing you—the gray on your chin, the receding hairline, the wrinkles around the eyes as you pull the chain-linked baton to your chest, release, and pull again, over and over, looking deeper into your father’s eyes with every pull. You imagine them blue instead of brown—the same cerulean rings enclosing the natural brown that you remember from the first time you met him when you were 15, the tinted contacts making you wonder if this man hugging you in his furniture store was really in fact related to you or if it was all a big joke, but with the passing of every year, every decade, every pull, you find yourself more resembling this man you didn’t even know existed when you were a boy listening to your mother sing Crystal Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.”

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AuthorJohn Proctor