told Father to get rid of Driver.
He was getting muddled; difficult; too old.
Smelling bad: that “old person” odor.
Which she could not bear.
She told him he was getting more and more reckless;
cutting off other cars unsafely; getting into arguments in the
parking garages. If
he were not an old man, he would have been beaten up, she
added. Many times. Many
times, Mother (teary-eyed) told Father he would never
understand the embarrassment she had had to deal with.
we did. Got rid
of Driver. Who
had been with us for twenty years.
Since before I was born.
With Father. When
Father became successful in his business.
Father who had a bad foot.
Who could not drive.
Driver was about fifty when he was hired.
He was the perfect age.
Not too young. For young drivers were understandably less trustworthy.
Always wanting to speed.
Checking their hair and faces too often in the mirror.
Looking at girls.
Understandably. Just the right age to be dependable. To handle himself with discipline. Mother was only sixteen.
When she married Father.
Perhaps too young.
Father was forty-five.
Perhaps the perfect age.
son came the next day. To
tell us his father had died in his sleep.
Last night. His
son did not appear angry.
He said his father had a good employer.
Treated his father as if he were family.
Driver’s son said we should be the first to know.
And telephoning would be insincere, he explained.
So he came in person.
His father was almost seventy, he added.
Father kept apologizing.
Mother kept opening and shutting her huge
wanted to pay. For
something. I told
Driver’s son his father had no more reason to wake up in the