Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day One Hundred Twenty-Seven: "Leaving for Kenosha" by Richard Ford


A man spends an afternoon with his middle school aged daughter. It's his designated night to spend with her following his recent divorce and this particular day, while seemingly routine, is anything but ordinary. The daughter's friend is moving away to Kenosha in order for her family to escape the devastation left behind after Hurricane Katrina. The girl asks her father to take her to visit her friend, to give her a card before she leaves. The dad battles Wal-mart for his daughter, drives into a rough neighborhood for his daughter, makes references to the "black" people around them and all of it sets up a situation where there is awkwardness in his love, misunderstandings without explanation, and the daughter gets fed up, wants to move away herself.

The reader senses that this story is one of escape or longed for escape...from New Orleans, from a marriage, from a life that needs fixing. The writing was wonderful and it felt real...almost too real. You hurt for this dad. He is trying very hard to "hang in there" as the story reiterates. He is trying. That's the point.

The story can be found online here:

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