When I was little I stood on your feet, my shiny patent Maryjanes atop your black loafers (you hated wingtips) so I could pretend that I was really dancing at Gayle Sulpizi’s wedding.
You said you never danced anymore because Grandma could no longer but you danced with me.
When I was little I sat on your lap in the apartment on Grand Avenue to watch Perry Mason or on the tractor seat upstate to drive to Sprague’s Sinclair station in Eagle Bridge for gas.
You said it was dangerous for two people to sit on that small tractor and drive at once but you did it with me.
When I was little I followed you around the house and garden on summer weekends upstate, watching you tinker with the tractor or build shelves for storage or repair the toaster or the radio.
Although you said I could help you, you didn’t really need it – which was convenient because I was generally no help at all – and you always smiled at me and occasionally tugged on one of my pigtails while I sat next to you to be sure that I knew you loved me.
When I was little I begged to tag along on your evening service calls to repair televisions in apartments on Sedgwick Avenue or University Avenue or Father Zeiser Place.
You said I could come if I was quiet and sometimes I was so quiet that I fell asleep on your customer’s sofas as you slid in chassis and popped out and replaced blown tubes.
Then after dropping your tool kit at the store on Fordham Road you’d hold my hand as we walked home under the darkness of the city sky and the circular pools of the street lamps, just you and me.
Yes, just you and me.