A Storyby Amy Bloom
I had always planned to kill my father. When I was ten, I drew a picture of a grave with “Alvin Lowald” on the tombstone, on the wall behind my dresser. From time to time I would add a spray of weeds or a creeping vine. By the time I was in junior high, there were trees hung with kudzu, cracks in the granite, and a few dark daisies springing up. Once, when my mother wouldn’t let me ride my bike into town, I wrote “Peggy Lowald is a fat stupid cow” behind the dresser, but I went back the same day and scribbled over it with black Magic Marker because most of the time I did love my mother and I knew she loved me. The whole family knew that my mother’s feelings were Sensitive and Easily Hurt. My father said so, all the time. My father’s feelings were also sensitive, but not in a way that I understood the word, at ten; it might be more accurate to say that he was extremely responsive.