"For the longest time, my old man sits there, utterly motionless, in the midst of bells being shaken and bongos being beaten by unsteady hands. Only the top of his head, gripped tightly in his fingers, is visible to me between this sagged shoulder and that, in the back of the crowd.
And it is not until the end of the song—when everyone sitting in the divide between him and me has joined in an intoxicated, disorderly chorus, singing loudly, I've tried to explain, bei mir bist du schoen—that the next line makes his hands fall, suddenly, into his lap.
I've tried to explain, bei mir bist du schoen,
So kiss me, and say that you will understand.
It is at that phrase, and say that you will understand, that I see him wincing. Having sensed, somehow, the weight of my gaze, his jaw clenches. My father turns his head abruptly, to pull himself back from view—but not before I realize, to my complete shock, that he is awash in tears."
Ben in Apart from Love
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Still Life with Memories
Volume I & II, woven together: Apart from Love
Volume I: My Own Voice
Volume II: The White Piano
Volume III: The Music of Us
"A feast for the armchair psychologist.
Reveals insights that can touch and frighten each of us"