I cant remember where the scar on my fathers face is. Sometimes I think it is here, on the left side of his face, just underneath his eye. But then I say to myself, thats only because you were facing him, and so really, it was on the right side. But then I say no, that cant be. Because when I was a boy I sat on his shoulders and he would let me rub my hand over it. And so I sit on top of a table and place my legs around a chair and lean over and I try to find where it would have been. Here. Or there. Here. Or there.
As he speaks his hand skips from one side of his face to the other.
He used to say, when I die youll know how to tell its me by this scar. That made no sense but when I was a boy I didnt know that. I thought I needed that scar to know it was him. And now, if I saw him, I couldnt tell him apart from any other old man.
Your father is already dead, I tell him.
And so is yours, Stephanos. Dont you worry youll forget him someday?
No. I dont. I still see him everywhere I go.
All of our fathers are dead, Joseph adds.
Exactly, Kenneth says.
Its the closest weve ever come to a resolution.
Excerpted from The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu © 2007 by Dinaw Mengestu. Excerpted by permission of Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Group. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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