photos & dna.


to her,

her mom

is a photo,

and every

photo is her mom.

i said that

to michelle and shannon

at dinner the

other night and

i’m sure they

were both thinking,

“what the fuck does that mean?”


for the past

few weeks

i’ve been thinking

that maddy

has been pointing

and saying,


to the photo

of her mom hanging

near the front door.

7.5 months.

but on thursday i realized

that she points at,

and says,


to every photo in

the house.

i even tested

my hypothesis…

the photo hanging in

the dining room

of the guy

running away

from the train

in agra, india…

train station - agra, india.


the photo on the

wall above the

chair in our livingroom

of the

guy sitting next

to his smashed-up

truck near hampi, india…



the photo in the hallway

of the women at

pashupatinath temple

in kathmandu…

women at pashupatinath temple, kathmandu.


so it’s

another kick in

the nuts,

you know, once again

getting a reminder that

she will only

know her mom

through photos.

but i suppose

there will

be the stories,

and the memories.

and of course,

the dna…

the guy at daycare

told me again

last week, that

he can’t wait to

hear what maddy’s

gonna say when

she can finally talk.

he went on to

tell me how funny

it is to see her

with one

hand on her hip,

the other hand

in the air,

fingers flailing,

while reading some little

bastard the riot act

in a mixture of

babel and english

because he stole

a toy from

her clutches.

this behavior didn’t

come from me…

that’s her mom,

through and through.

she was a sweet,

sweet woman, but damn…

she didn’t

take shit

from anyone.

and i can remember

several instances of her

talking to some

customer service

agent, reading that

motherfucker the riot act.

she used to end

those calls

with some exasperated,

often profane, exclamation.

and i, being

the wonderful, supportive

husband i was,

would defend the person

on the other end

of the line…

“what the hell did he do to you?”

and her answer was:

“i only yell at the people who deserve it.”

so these two…

these two

who met ever

so briefly,

are more alike

than i ever could

have imagined…

and i watched her

this morning as

she waited

for me to

pour her a

glass of milk,

and she held her

little hands

just underneath her chin,

clapping away,

just like her

mom used to do

when the waiter/waitress

would tell us

about the dessert special,

or when one of her

favorite awful pop

songs would

come on the radio.

i used to make

fun of her

all the time

for that weird

shit, but when

i saw maddy do it

today, well,

i fucking bawled.

and someday i’ll make

fun of our daughter for

doing the

same things her


used to do,

and remind her

that she knows

her mother better

than any of us ever

could have imagined.

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