Micrograffiti: Daddy by Giuseppe Taurino22/09/2010
My mother’s been underground two days and Pop’s decided to dump us off in Florida, with her parents. I’m wishing he was dead instead. And then it hits. Like a sack of rocks against a car door. The plane dips hard, the cabin lights flare. A second thud. And then another. We’re being attacked. Children, women, and men are screaming.
My brother squeezes his eyes shut—he prays—but I stay fixed on Pop, who strikes me as too calm. Empty. As if whatever happens is beyond anyone screaming or praying for it to stop.
People are standing, falling, colliding. The oxygen masks drop; the overheads regurgitate luggage; plastic cups tumble toward the front of the plane.
Pop lights a cigarette and bites down on it. He checks to see our seat belts are fastened and tells us to be calm, over and over. “Whatever happens,” he says, “don’t get up. We’ll meet our fate together!” At least that’s what I imagine him saying—over the commotion, over the glassy conclusions he’s reached with his eyes, which aren’t empty after all. What they’re saying is: This is life.
Sooner or later, whether you want it or not, the world comes at you.
Giuseppe Taurino is a writer living in Austin. He’s got a job in non-profit and an MFA, and sometimes he publishes stories.