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Postcards of a Life

When I left home, for numerous reasons, I never looked back.

My father sent me postcards.

The first one was a cockatoo perched in a cage. The slogan read, If You Canít Afford the Vet, You Canít Afford the Pet. He had scrawled, Why are you ignoring us? In his barely legible handwriting I mistook for, Why are you boring us?

By the time I married, working endless hours at my taxidermy business, I received his second postcard. On the front was a photo of Whistlerís Mother. Not an arbitrary choice, nothing my father did ever was. I knew that Whistler had only referred to this painting as "Arrangement in Grey and Black." So, I was not surprised when I flipped over the postcard to read, Your mother left me.

A new decade brought the third, a stunning color photograph of the sunset at Waikiki beach. The front had HAWAII embossed in silver letters. He wrote Mai Taiís and bikinis galore, wish you were here.

The year I turned sixty, I got the fourth, a week before my birthday. I almost accidentally tossed it out with the junk mail. It was a completely black front, no picture, no logo. I turned it over, an invitation to his funeral.

Story by:

Robert Vaughan

submitted at 11:42pm

26 May 2010

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