LIFE IS SHORT | Autobiography as Haiku

LIFE IS SHORT | Autobiography as Haiku

Sunday, July 16, 2006

(Rebecca D'Angelo - For The Washington Post)
It's the mustache, I tell myself. Children stare openly, women look quickly and men smile appreciatively. It is big -- like the sort many men wore in the last century. Because of it, no one ever seems to see the scars from the seven cancer operations I have had on my face, which, thanks to a very skillful dermatologist and the mustache, are somehow made almost invisible to others, if not to me. Almost daily someone asks me the usual question -- 15 years -- but they never ask about the scars. The mustache is all.

Jon F. Virden

Bethesda

Pull the shots; ask her how she's doing. Hair greasy from not being washed, or maybe from being tugged on too much, she says with a sigh, "Not so good." Her eyes look sadder than yesterday. The little girls weren't with her. Husband must have gotten custody -- she'd told me about the divorce. Too busy to talk now, I just look at her sympathetically. Pour the milk, hand her the drink -- know it by heart now -- and she touches my arm. "Thank you," she says heavily. "Have a nice one," I say, meaning so much more. Coffee-shop therapy for the working class.

(Rebecca D'Angelo - For The Washington Post)
Colleen Finnegan

Springfield

Find a way to give insight into your life in under 100 words. Authors of selected entries will be notified and paid $100. Send text (accompanied by a home phone number) via e-mail (lifeisshort@washpost.com), fax (202-334-5587) or mail (Style, Life Is Short, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071).


© 2006 The Washington Post Company