Summer Sunday evening, 1949. I sit on the floor, my father beside me in an armchair, reading the newspaper. And smoking a cigarette. The sunlight streams in from the west, warming the room. The smoke is illuminated as a solid shaft of light, my sunbeam. I do not know of the poisons in the smoke that will take my father’s life years later. I simply drink in the reassurance of the sunbeam.
The Farnsworth upright radio across the room is silent. “Duffy’s Tavern” will have to wait for another night. The only sound is the rustle of the newspaper and my father, breathing in the smoke from the cigarette. In between puffs, the cigarette rests idly between his fingers, the wisp of smoke drifting up from the tip, then moving in tight circles and finally swirling more broadly to dissipate in the room, providing substance for the sunbeam.
Fascinated, I am lost in the warmth and light and smoke.
From the kitchen my mother announces that dinner is ready.
My reverie is over