The Stories We Tell

Sometimes I say my father is a truck driver
even though the man can’t manage to back the minivan out of our driveway without
branches etching lines on the passenger side. I’ve always been the only

kid at school with a scientist for a father, let alone
an entomologist for a father. Last week he told me
he was working on a very important grant proposal regarding

the respiratory system of pill bugs and trust me
there’s nobody at school with a dad like that.
But a truck driver? A father who drives off

into the murky distance? Who carries his 80,000 pound load
to a far-away state, now and then? A lot of kids at school
can relate to that. I like being one of them. I like

being the kind of kid who has a mother calling you
in for fish-sticks when the sun goes down and there’s an empty
spot at the head of the table that nobody turns to. I listen

to the empty spot drone on about the important research
the important entomologist is undertaking. Outside a truck
roars by. I let it carry my imagination. A moth hits the windshield,
flying steadfast towards the light.

 

 

 

 

Pamela Lucinda Moss grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and now makes her home in Seattle, raising three teenagers, working as a software engineer, and jotting down the language that rattles around in her brain. This is her first published piece.