That Time We Discovered Dad Was a Lying, Cheating Nudist
T he weekend we learned about keeping secrets Dad was almost 33, and naked. The woman with him was naked too. We nudist them from the center of a pond, tangled in ropey lily pad stems.
The pond was carpeted in silt so slippery it sent shivers up my spine. Earlier that day, Mom had dropped my big sister Sarah and me off.
Dad met us at the end of a dirt road, kissed Mom, they wiccan rituals naked still married thensaid he missed her too, and sent her off. Dad was running a farm that summer.
Our mother dodged his certitude, avoiding useless, unwinnable arguments in the spirit of self-preservation, and hoped we were smart enough to tune him out like she did. Sarah verry I lived in his kingdom, abided by his laws — our squares of toilet paper counted, hot showers timed, access to a phone spotty and contingent on whether or not he could tolerate the ring, and the conversation that followed. We lived in unheated rooms during Vermont winters, and recited reasons America was corrupt.
In school I young stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, wanting to fit in, to quiet his relentless directives — but that would take marriage and having children and getting divorced and, of course, therapy.