by Billy Thrasher
I’m standing next to the workbench that my son and I built
some time ago. It is an eight-foot-long 2x4 doubly framed
two-tier skeleton, covered with thick plywood and piled with
greasy, abandoned car parts and hardly used tools. My son’s
extension cord, given by his mechanic friend, is stretched
across the garage floor like a shed snakeskin.
I begin to wrap the cord holding the plug end in my palm,
making heavy circles that hang. Suddenly, I’m standing in front
of the carport next to my dad. He is taller and wider than me,
and he’s showing me how to grip the plug end in my palm
with my thumb, extend my fingers, and keep my wrist stiff and straight,
then wrap the cord around my elbow and into a taut circle, then
wrap the socket end around the top cords twice and connect
the socket into the plug. He tells me it’s easier to carry and wouldn’t
fall apart when the bundle is tossed into the bed of the pick-up truck.
I stop, let the cord unfurl to the floor, and start over again,
wrapping my son’s extension cord the way Dad showed me,
tying up the memory into a nice taught circle. Then I wonder
if my son knows how to wrap it the same way.