what do you see?

the first time i wore glasses — and had to reach up

to push them further onto the bridge of my nose — my

hand felt a sudden shock as i remembered my dad. he

would make this gesture hundreds of times a day; he

wore glasses all of the time, not just for reading. when i

cleaned my glasses for the first time, i felt like i was

looking down at his careful hands, his breath on the glass,

his dinner napkin sweeping over the lens as he talked

about his day at the table. it wasn’t until recently that

i felt these movements — these gestures of my father —

down to their core. they seem like such small things, such

minutiae. but they are what i saw of my father all of my life.

there’s even a picture of him pushing his glasses up with one

finger while looking at the camera and smiling. his face is split

in half by his hand, but you can still see all of that smile. at the

end of a long day he would take off his glasses, lie back in his chair,

take the weight off of all the constraints, the tools needed, the

gestures — quieted down into the night sounds: the blurred hum

of the television, the din of family tinkering around him, the

knowledge of another day closing its eyes after a job well done.

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