“What Did I Know” by Adam Conner

The bottom drawer in my father’s room contains his trash. Crumpled Budweiser cans and Marlboro ash, frayed photos from his childhood.

The one above it has memories. The wool blanket he covered me with when the heat was off. By morning, it was on him.

The one above that has grease. His green spark jacket, his helmet, yellowed thermals. He’d slap the helmet on me and tell me Get ready for the furnaces, the fire.

I grab a chair and peek into the drawer that holds his dreams. Travel pamphlets to Hawaii and Alaska and Ireland and deserts and safaris and waterfalls.

The top drawer contains my father’s valuables. Underwear, socks, bowling tournament medals, vintage silver dollars, gold rings for just-in-case, and the gun he’ll eventually pass down to me, but what’s the harm in testing it out now?

Adam Conner currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

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