Miss Sasha sent along this thrilling image from Italian New Year’s Eve, which was Christmas, Part 3: The Fattening. Perhaps I’m telling Dad to go stuff it, perhaps demanding he quit lifting heavy stuff with that backache; we don’t know. He spent the next few days in bed with excruciating back pain, but he’d done that on occasion all my life. As Miss Sasha pointed out, he’d eaten a slice of my cousin Monday’s apple pie, which is generally good, and said it tasted off to him. I didn’t remember that.
What I remember was that in the kitchen we were all making wiseass remarks about each other. My sisters Daria and Dara said, “Daddy, I’m the daughter you always wanted” and “No, I am.” I said, “I’m the son you always wanted.” Dad almost dropped the roast.