“But my father isn’t single,” my father actually says.

“Well imagine if he was,” I say.

He hesitates, and I decide to uncork some of the anger I’ve been rehearsing with my friends since my last visit with him. “It wasn’t just that you were hitting on someone in front of me, which I think would make anyone’s child uncomfortable, it was that it was so blatant. You even had that line when you were talking about Judaism: ‘If you give me your number, I’ll give you a private lesson.’ ” My stomach sinks hot when I say this. I am flooded with the rawness of that night in the restaurant, how I sat, like a child, sculpting my dessert into grotesque forms while my father batted his eyes at the waiter. When I heard the guy say he was an “aerial artist,” I sensed my father tense with Cirque du Soleil visions, and I dug a fresh hole from the mound on my plate.

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