i breathe out so deeply. something i couldn’t do 20 years ago when i smoked camel lights. meditation was never an option. breathing out slowly, so slowly, would have caused a coughing fit.

i breathe out so deeply when my father calls.

“hello Dad!” i say as cheerfully as i can. thinking my overly vivacious tone will take his pain away.

“yeah. well I’m going to the gym. then to the cemetery to see your Mom.”

“sounds great Dad!”

“thats’s not so great, adriana .”

he hangs up. why did i say that?

i hold my breath for as long as i can. Not quite ready to breathe out.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.