Sections Above and Below This Page:

his family and it was good. Good to be back where they could see each other in the flesh instead of through letters and photographs. His sister hardly knew her brother any other way, and his parents remembered their son as a boy they watched grow up in words on pieces of paper. Now they saw that their boy-son-brother was indeed a man. He looked at them and saw the adolescence he had spent as a twenty-two-year-old in Europe on their faces, which had grown older in the way that people age in Brooklyn.

After Kenny phoned them from the airport that Sunday afternoon, his mother and sister had dressed back into the clothes they had worn to church that morning and his father had put on a clean sports shirt to greet their world-traveling son, the film director-- who arrived with unshined, scuffed shoes, dirty, wrinkled trousers and sweater, torn coat, and a two-day beard. "Don't you have any luggage?" was the first question he was asked after the Happy Birthdays and Welcome Homes.

"There was a baggage mix-up, it seems, at the London airport and half the passengers on my flight lost their bags in the shuffle, including me. But the BOAC people said they'd notify us on Monday or Tuesday when they found out where our stuff ended up. It's probably all in Tunisia by now or some other remote godforsaken place."

While Kenny took the first real shower he had since he left his pad in Rome and changed into different clothes, which still fit and had been mothball-stored in a dresser by his parents in a bedroom which they said was his "own room," his mother was on the phone notifying all the relatives and friends of the family that the prodigal had returned and they should all come over. And come over they did. As soon as Kenny finished eating a pot-roast dinner with his father the doorbell started ringing, and aunts and uncles, first cousins and second, by blood and by proxy, all sorts of people he hadn't seen in six, seven years, and some little children he'd never seen before, crowded into the kitchen and living room of the fiveroom, eighty-five-dollar-a-month apartment, and Kenny was as glad to see them as they said they were to see him.

When the initial greetings were finished, the booze was broken out and someone asked Kenny if he wanted ice and he said yes because he hadn't had any for a very long time, and everyone relaxed into a party mood. He told them pleasant stories about Italy and the Center of Experimental Cinematography in Rome and the films he made, and how he went to Dublin and grass-rooted it with [end page 212]


Creative Commons License
The Digger Archives is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Cite As: The Digger Archives ( / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0