He was my father, or so I am told. He was 23-years-old when I was born. White, from an English background, graduated high school, went on to a two-year technical college and lived one town over from Peggy, my birthmother, in Ridgefield, Connecticut. He was an electrician’s mate in the Navy and his name was Dick Sanford. Peggy had listed his physical particulars on my non-identifying information (the paper trail a birthmother leaves Catholic Charities before surrendering her baby). In Peggy’s near-unreadable handwriting my birthfather was 6’5’; 200 lbs.; big frame, blue eyes, blond hair, fair skin.
She could have been describing my two sons. Continue reading
Their bedroom—I knew it by heart. The Trojan condoms in the bottom drawer of Dad’s night stand; a copy of The Bell Jar on Mom’s side; the shotgun in the back of the closet behind Oxford shoes; and the corduroy sport jackets Dad wore to teach English at our high school.
Mom’s dresser was a trove of white C-cup bras, half-slips, and a jewelry box that opened to a twirling ballerina in a white tutu. She had two kinds of perfume that sat next to the box: Shalimar by Guerlain and Cotillion by Avon. Shalimar smelled spicy and exotic, while Cotillion was delicate and airy. They seemed to belong to two different women. Two women I wanted to be, but didn’t yet know how to become. Continue reading