Still thinking of my dad, I thought some of you might be interested in a 'thinly veiled' short story based on our father-daughter relationship that appeared in Purdue University's Literary Magazine SKYLARK back in 1992.
With apologies to Joy for this thinly veiled attempt to piggyback onto British Isles Friday, the only connection being my British blood.
Shannon squeezed some Lubriderm into her palm and took her father’s foot with its familiar high and bony arch in her other hand. She felt its weight slip into place, her fingers curling comfortably around the misshapen toes, the lotion easing into the parchment-thin skin. He would love the cool shock of the liquid seeping in.
“Ahhh,” he used to say, “such lovely, cool hands.”
“Oh, great,” she’d snorted but hadn’t minded, not really, rubbing his feet for a bit in front of the TV.
She’d been fascinated by the gnarled toes, the thick curling nails. The feet of an old man. Nothing like her own, soft and callous-free, peeking out petitely from under a pair of frayed and faded jeans. She hadn’t known then that her own feet would not stay shapely and pink, toes topped with delicate little pearls for nails. Had barely noticed the layers upon layers of nail building up, becoming brittle little by little, cracking and peeling with the slow and steady course of time, yellowing with age. She hadn’t known she would grow older too.
She worked one foot and then the other, gently massaging until all the Lubriderm was distributed evenly and then pulling the sheet back down over them and with a final caress looked up to find her father’s face. She wasn’t sure he’d felt a thing.“There you go,” she said with one last pat.
Read the rest of the story