My dad's knuckles and finger joints are raw, split unevenly across vein-riddled, hairy hands. His horn rimmed glasses are held together with duct tape in two places and he has black eyes --bags hanging heavy behind thick lenses. He has a barely restrained beard and a big smile. He is bald, wearing a well pressed, dark grey suit. He has crows feet and smile lines. He does not wear jewelry. He asks me how my day went, about what I did in school.
I tell him about the activities in my class and talk and talk until he asks me to elaborate on something and then I do, talking about that thing until he asks me about something else and, eventually, we are talking about something, some concept, or the state of the universe and whether we think there's more entropy or energy today, and why and I am happy to keep talking like this --concepts and ideas, because it saves me from asking the reciprocal question this whole thing started with.
My knuckles are knobbier than I'd like, but are otherwise smooth, pale. I am wearing a sundress and it feels like too much. I say, "I wish we were back down south."
He sighs, deflates for a moment, though his perfect posture doesn't sag. He nods and quietly sips his coffee. He talks about the food. Shakes his head. "I hear you," he says.
We talked for a while longer. The waiter, who was also the owner, the cook and the dishwasher (though we've never seen him do that) asked how everything was and we laughed. "We're moving soon," I said.
"Oh no!" The owner replied. "But good for you guys. Send me a postcard?"
"A postcard?" My dad asked.
"Yeah man. I collect post cards from places. Send me a post card?" This man, the owner of our favorite restaurant, is a bear of a man, south-eastern European, constant nine o'clock shadow and clear winter sky eyes. "Everything was good?" He added. He missed my dad's nod, which is understandable.