My Father's Son
NINE TIMES a week, at specified hours, I button my collar, gather books and papers, lay down my cigar to smoke out, and walk with a certain sense of excitement not unmingled with a sense of inadequacy (paradoxically mingled with a sense of all too much adequacy) toward one or another of the brightly fluorescent classrooms boxed row upon row in a box designated Humanities Languages And Literature in a compound of boxes called San Francisco State College, one mile the dry side of the Pacific Ocean.
This campus is a long way, even jetting, from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where my father was born, and farther yet from a village somewhere in Poland, whose name I never knew, where his father was born. Both men are dead, and I the next in line. I compare my father’s timetable with my own, checking my heart in my doctor’s ears lest it early fail, as my father’s failed.
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