July 19, 2002


Mostly I remember the tuna fish sandwich my aunt made for lunch. It included slivers of celery and was cut diagonally. I had never seen, and had certainly never eaten, a diagonally-cut sandwich.

My aunt was nice. Many years later her daughter was in a car accident that left her disfigured. Before that her son took drugs that were supposed to make him taller but instead screwed up his digestive system so much that he had to have a colostomy.

It was my job to mow the lawn. I don’t know why my cousin (the boy cousin) wasn’t doing this. Maybe he wasn’t old enough yet. Or maybe my uncle took pity on me because of my “situation” at home. Anyway I can still see the shape of the lawn, the way it wrapped around the side of the house.

About halfway through, my aunt came out and asked if I wanted lunch. Various people hated my aunt for supposedly turning my uncle against his mother (my grandmother), but to me she always seemed nice.

After lunch I ran over the lawn mower cord. I mean, with the lawn mower. Unfortunately it was the actual lawn mower cord and not the extension cord. I say this because otherwise I may have found a way to finish mowing.

Instead I wheeled the lawn mower back to the garage and left the severed cord on the engine. Then I went and told my aunt that I was done.

My aunt gave me money and drove me home. The next time I saw her, or anyone in her family, was at my sister’s wedding twenty years later. No one brought up the cord.