LIDA HUSIK > WORD > MISTAKEN IDENTITY   
MISTAKEN IDENTITY

I'm down at the McDaniel house.  We're standing around in the driveway tinkering with Mike's bike and shooting the breeze.  From my peripheral vision I see my Dad coming down the street.  He's actually being pulled down the street by his german shepard, Job.  He leans back, straining on the leash as Job lunges forward, forcing Dad into a tense trot.  It's the mid-seventies, and Dad is wearing a knit shirt through which his voluminous silver chest hair is poking.  His hair is white and curly, and he is smiling as usual.  Meanwhile, I'm sinking further into a shame spiral.  Dad is an old, wierd, cheery guy and I'm trying to hang with the cool Catholics.  I can't avoid being seen and when Dad spots me he comes out with this huge "Hi Lida, How are you?!!!" The other kids look on impassively.  "Hey" I say.  Job, who I actively dislike, pays no attention to me at all.  I make no conversation and Dad is dragged on.  When he turns the corner Mike asks "Who was that?" I reply, "A neighbor.  "