Leaving Manhattan

Leaving Manhattan

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Dear Diary:

“I’m not hungry, just coffee is enough.”

My father, 88, and I sit in the Broadway Diner, getting breakfast before leaving Manhattan, he for the last time.

“Hey,” I ask, “do you remember decades ago when you drove me to my first year of college?

He nods silently.

“Kind of feels like role reversal, doesn’t it?” This time the car keys are on my side of the table.

The coffee is served, and several drops spill onto the table.

My father reaches for a napkin, extending his hand: the speckled, liver-spotted skin, the carefully clipped nails, the tremor more pronounced this morning.

I catch the napkin, bending down as it floats toward the floor.

“Here you go,” I say.

He twists in his chair, his pants ride up and I stare at some older man’s pale, crepe-skinned leg.

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