Featured Artwork “Father, Mother and Child” by Emanuela Iorga
I wear beanies.
When I tug that soft circle of wool onto my head and down over my ears, I’m twenty years younger. In my forties, that may have been the reason for loving them, but not anymore. The fifties are different. Now I just adore the way my head feels held together and pleasantly compressed. Like a girdle for my thoughts. And God knows, they need support.
Then there’s this: I’m hopelessly devoted to reading the actual newspaper. And I call it the paper. This makes me even more hopeless and devoted.
But the newspaper and the hat together? That hasn’t happened in decades.
My father called me names, made me cry, and one time even threw my plate of Easter frittata at the wall because he said I was being fresh. But he was the best newspaper hat maker ever. When we made them together, mean names and hot tears and broken plates of frittata melted from my view.
What I saw instead: Ink-stained, rolling fingers folding paper creases with care. Hands guiding mine, never pressing hard, never pinching or hurting. Thin smoke lines from his cigarette in the ashtray, rising from its tip.
They were newspaper masterpieces. Edges, crisp and sharp. Corners, tight. I remember trying to read the headlines when they were done.
“C’mere closer, doll,” he’d say.
Then he’d take a long drag, exhale, place the hat on my head and wink. Those were good days. When my father’s corners were loose. Edges soft.