Excerpted from “Living Below the Radar,” published on newssip.
My father taught me how to drive, how to swing a tennis racquet, that when you are given extra change at the cash register, you always return it. Together, through his patience of repetitive testing, we letter-pressed an entire vocabulary of synonyms and antonyms into the pulpy paper of my teenage mind. I remember the look on his face after reading my essay on The Once and Future King in 10th grade. “You are a writer,” he said with reverence, handing me back the carefully typewritten, double-spaced pages. And I believed him. Through the mirror of my father’s acceptance and insistence, I have come to see myself as a woman of worth. The city of Portland sees things a little differently.