At your fourth birthday party all you remember is the color of the light in the room, lace dark, and candlelight through holes in Chantilly lace. You and an old man stand in front of a chocolate cake with white frosting and white writing. Your name, ADAM, is written out in sugar, four candles for you, and a respectful lack of candles for him.
He is old enough that you can feel the days he’s lived float through him when he hugs you right there in front of your family.
You feel his age, and his influence, his smell, and the slow way he takes his glasses off and wipes them off with a handkerchief.
This old man is related to the pilgrims, your great uncle is attached to the beginning of this country, and here now, on the year of the bicentennial, your whole world is a candle flicker through lace, an old man with soft broken leather hands on yours, and the flashes of smiles.
You can see the whole room standing there, dots of bright light reflected off of all the glasses in the room and the pistachio pants your mom wears, her hair up in a Beehive, so proud of you, her big boy,1976.