This essay was first published in the literary journal Alligator Juniper. It was later republished in the debut batch of Phone Fiction, an online platform for reading short fiction (and literary essays) on your mobile device. (Very cool).
Frank is my late father-in-law who died in 1997. I inherited his car. It wasn’t easy…at first.
“I’m not sure when my late father-in-law’s town car became our car. It wasn’t when we wrested it from Mom, who we decided couldn’t safely operate it anymore. It wasn’t when we changed the title to my name. For even after that, I saw it as Frank’s Buick, a.k.a. the Batmobile, so named because of its dual automatic “ComforTemp” controls in the front seats (leather), its “Twilight Sentinel” feature that turns the headlights onand off depending on how light it is outside, the heated windshield, the cruise control with automatic reset, the illuminated entry system around door locks, the electric radio antennae that telescopes into hiding every time you turn off the radio.
“The sexy stereo system. …”
This essay is a valentine to my ten sisters who several years ago became obsessed with the Oregon-based musical group PINK MARTINI.
Originally, this piece won the Writers at Work narrative nonfiction contest and was later published in the journal Quarterly West. Later it was republished by Phone FIction, which is where you can read it today.
“My only brother Brent was patient zero. It was he who first heard on National Public Radio about the musical group Pink Martini and in turn began infecting my sisters with the hysteria of the group’s hot Latin, jazz and classical mix. But it was my brother-in-law Scott who is responsible for bringing my sisters to near ruin. He was the one who, munching Cheerios one morning at the table with his children, read in the newspaper that the Martini was due to perform in our home state of Utah. Without thinking—I am sure he was not thinking—he told his wife, my sister Stephenie, who screamed so loudly at the news that five-year-old Ben turned to his younger sister Gracie and said, ‘My Heck! What’s with mom?’” Read the entire essay on Phone Fiction