I might be able to remember her name if I tried really hard. She was the daughter of a friend of a cousin of mine, and she was staying with my cousin for some ambiguous, angsty, undisclosed reason. She was sort of boxy-shaped, had a close-cropped man haircut, and she milked cows.
Not that any of those things has anything to do with anything. But there are so few things I can remember with any clarity at all that I like to enjoy remembering when I am able.
We didn't ever really spend a lot of time with this cousin of mine and his family, so I'm not really sure how they became acquainted, she and my father. After all, he was in his fifties and she was sixteen, maybe seventeen.
She was a flirt. But she came from the kind of home that would cause a girl to be an outlandish flirt with any man that crossed her path. She teased and played, and it was so ridiculously awkward, but nobody said anything.
I was nineteen.
I came home from college and she was in our house and my father was wrestling with her on the living room floor and it was so weird. My mother was in the next room, making dinner as if nothing bizarre at all was happening. My brothers did whatever it was that boys do. And all the while my father was handling a child in our living room.
She was younger than me.
I have no actual evidence, no concrete proof that he did anything wrong. It was just disturbing. She bought him a Carhartt jacket for Christmas. She gave me a handful of lottery tickets, which was totally insulting for no apparent reason. It just was.
But despite the not having of evidence, I still get sick to my stomach thinking of that man and that little girl. And perhaps that speaks just as loudly as proof.