Henry saw a couple of new dings in his father’s old Lincoln. Henry didn’t like that. The large car was twenty-two years old now, and was beginning to teeter between being a classic and a jalopy. When he looked up the sloping, shady driveway, Henry saw that the garage door had been left open. The frame of the garage door had been sideswiped down to bare wood and splinters. His father’s driving wasn’t getting any better.
He heard the old front door of the house creak and saw his father staring down at him from the porch. The old man looked thinner, maybe, but even his thinness made him seem to loom over Henry. So did the fact that the porch was built up into the side of a hill. The house itself was high and gothic, constructed like the others beside it—all huge houses on narrow, deep properties. Henry couldn’t look at his father yet, so he glanced away. Henry’s own car was parked down on the street, as if it couldn’t make the short, steep climb to the Lincoln. Henry knew nothing in life came easily. He had come to ask his father, his only living relative, for money. Just this once.
“So you’re here,” his father said.
Henry nodded and looked up. All the old trees between the houses made the yard dark. In spite of the shade, Henry saw that the paint on the trim was blistering.Continue reading