The Colombian night air dances as the pool at the far end of the Termales de Coconuco slowly fills with tepid, sulfuric water. This is my first return visit to my birthplace, my first introduction to my father, a man who has been absent nearly all my life.
When I was a baby, my thighs were so chubby that one of my aunts used to eat them like drumsticks. It’s a story I heard often when I was growing up, usually told with the requisite giggles from my mother and a pinch on my legs from whomever else was within reach.
I am the person who steams and huffs and rolls her eyes when you stand at the deli counter ordering half pound quantities of three different deli meats. I am the person who barrels through the bank door without turning around to say “thank you” while you hold the door open.
Words have substance, texture, definition. The word “word” is given distinction by Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – yes, the bulky print version – as being both a noun in the form of something that is said, as in “I just can’t think of the word right now,” and a verb meaning expressing something, as in “Benjamin, we have to word the declaration just right.”
Earthquakes and hurricanes made for a memorable August, at least for East Coasters. The end of August means the beginning of a new school year for some, and, for many, one last summer vacation. Perhaps you are even reading this email from the beach.