chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things


After I left home, at 17, my parents turned my bedroom into an office. Floor to ceiling industrial shelving covered an entire wall, filled with the overstock of our eclectic lives. A pair of desks formed a large peninsula jutting from one wall, and my childhood bed served as a couch, later as my father’s bed, and yet later as his deathbed.

In the months following my father’s death, I sorted and sifted the contents of the drawers on his side of the desk – folders stuffed with cards and letters and poems I had written, copies of his own impassioned correspondence, articles about a famous relative clipped from scientific journals, Torah studies he had prepared for a class, and the abundant thank yous and commendations of a life generously lived.

Finally the desk was mostly empty, save for a few treasures in the pencil drawer – his college slide rule, a polished rock, a collection of name tags and ID badges accumulated in his 25 years as a post-retirement volunteer, and a snapshot. It’s the three of us – my mother grinning stiffly at the right, already disappointed, my father seated on the left with me on his lap, perhaps 12 months old, fat and round, a wisp of hair curling on top of my head. My father and I are looking at each other and we radiate joy.

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