Our father came to sleep in our house that night. He carried a small suitcase with a black mourning suit and a pair of polished shoes. Corrigan stopped him as he made his way up the stairs. 'Where d'you think you're going?'Our father gripped the bannister. His hands were liverspotted and I could see him trembling in his pause. 'That's not your room,' sad Corrigan. Our father tottered on the stairs. He took another step up. 'Don't,' said my brother. His voice was clear, full, confidant. Our father stood stunned. He climbed one more step and then turned, descended, looked around, lost.'My own sons,' he said.We made a bed for him on a sofa in the living room, but even then Corrigan refused to stay under the same roof; he went walking in the direction of the city center and I wondered what alley he might be found in later that night, what fist he might walk into, whose bottle he might climb down inside.
No shame in saying that I felt a loneliness drifting through me. Funny how it was, everyone perched in their own little world with the deep need to talk, each person with their own tale, beginning in some strange middle point, then trying so hard to tell it all, to have it all make sense, logical and final.
I could tell from Anna's face that she had already told him about dancing in Saint Petersburg and that the memory weighed on her heavily. What monstrous things, our pasts, especially when they have been lovely. She had told a secret and now had the sadness of wondering how much deeper she might dig in order to keep the first secret fed.