That’s my mother, pushing up her glasses. It was, I think, at the very beginning of her very thin years. Her younger sister is looking over her shoulder at her. I remember my aunt’s hair, lush and wavy like a Hollywood star. My grandmother is holding something in her hands and studying it. If it was now, we’d think she was looking at her phone but the phone was in the house, sitting on a tiny phone table with a crocheted doily, black with a rotary dial and a thick cord. The cord didn’t coil. It hung like a lariat off the side of the table.
I remember my grandmother’s outfit even though I wasn’t born when this picture was taken. She kept her clothes a good long time. I remember how the fabric was soft but crinkled, permanently crinkled, not ironed that way and I know I felt that skirt with my own hands like I know I’ve run my hands on the paint of that garage door. I breathed that air. It was just many years later.
My father was there that day, too. Here he is sitting, leaning against the garage door, flashing his argyle socks, and he is his hip self. He worked a regular job during the day and played in dance bands at night and so that part of him, the part of him that could play a song if you hummed a few bars, was always gliding around him. He was a smooth character back then. You can tell by how he’s sitting. He had it going.
My parents before they were my parents. I love seeing them that way.