He called his old white SUV the White Elephant. We sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in rounds. We had a secret handshake. We celebrated unbirthdays. He made us unbirthday cakes. He taught me how to make cream cheese frosting. He taught me how to ride a bike in the park. He said I looked like a doll when I was born. He bought me a mountain bike. He let my sister and I rent Mannequin and Puff the Magic Dragon every time. When I was older he let me rent Repo Man. He had a three-legged dog named Lucky or maybe it was one-eyed. He was a triathlete and maybe he still is. I think he competed in IRONMAN one year. He once took us to George Strait’s house when he was doing construction on it. He showed me how to use a drill. He bought me Lemon-Lime Gatorade every time he stopped for Coors tallboys. He took us to eat menudo. He bought us Sprites at the bar. He let me sip his beer. He let me take the wheel. He made a really good venison stew once. He bought us personalized clothing and jewelry and accessories. He bought us binoculars and monoculars and cool glow-in-the-dark astronomy books. He carried a beeper. I think that’s it.
Marisha Gene Hicks lives in Austin, Texas. Her writing is found in Gravel, Ghost City Review, and Peach Mag. Tweet at her @cryybaeb