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Settling Daddy In

Settling Daddy In

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Published by Diana Altman
Two sisters search for their dead Dad
Two sisters search for their dead Dad

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Published by: Diana Altman on Oct 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/04/2013

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SETTLING DADDY IN
 
Diana Altman
 
Settling Daddy In
 Diana AltmanMy sister arrived from New York bearing gifts of a fattening nature. Shebelieved I was bakery deprived living in Boston.That time, so long ago now, shebrought a chocolate cake, cinnamon bubka, and rugelach. As soon as my childrenwere asleep and my husband upstairs in front of the TV, I said to her,
“Y
ou roll,
I’ll get the cake.”
 When I carried the cake, two plates, two forks, two napkins into the livingroom, a perfectly tight joint was on the coffee table and she was standing in frontof the beveled mirror above the Victorian mantelpiece.
I hate this haircut,
shesaid.
“I’m never going to Remio again
.
I can’t believe I went back to him
. Youknow what he did the last time? Did I tell you? I said to him, just cover the gray,Remio.
Don’t make it too black 
. He says he knows exactly what I mean. Next
thing I know, I’m sitting there with hair so black I looked like one of those old
ladies with the black hair and the red lipstick.
I said, Remio! Look what you’vedone to me! He says with the first washing it’ll get lighte
. So I go home.
I’m
telling you, I was walking along Seventh Avenue like some kind of criminal. Ithought if I meet anyone I kno
w I’
ll drop dead. I go down into Penn Station and
guess who’s there
. Every day I take the train to Queens and never see a living soul
 
and just the day my hair is the color of tar who do I see but that Linda Sudhalterperson from Carnegie Tech
who’s having that one
-woman show.
 We took up our positions on the sofa, Isabel at one end, me at the other, thecashmere throw over our legs. Around us was my Victorian living room, bowwindows covered in velvet drapery, ornate tiles around the fireplace, an uprightpiano in the corner with beginner music on it. Isabel lit the joint with her Bic, took a hit and handed it to me.
You know what she told me?
” she said in a choked
voice holding down smoke.
“S
he said going to Yale graduate school made all thedifference to her. She said she never really took herself seriously as an artist untilshe went there. She said I should go. I felt like saying, oh, yeah, with what.
” Isabel
accepted the joint from me, took a drag, held down smoke, released it, and handedthe joint back to me.
Anyway, the
re I am talking to her like nothing’s the matter 
.
After a while I couldn’t help bursting out with, Linda, don’t you notice anything
strange? She said, what.
I said, my hair! Hasn’t it occurred to you that you’re
talking to a person with weird black hair?
She didn’t even notice
. Some artist,huh? I never liked her work anyway.
 I handed the joint back to Isabel.
“Your hair doesn’t look too black.”
 
“Not now,” she said sucking in smoke
.
I went back to him the next day. Isaid, Remio, I washed my hair and it still looks too black. Fix it. So he did.

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