Once More to Kitty Hawk
by Greg Kurzawa
"The first symptoms most often appear in the hands," the doctor explained to the young couple
and their aged father. The grip weakens; manipulation of even the most basic instruments
becomes increasingly challenging. Within a very short time, you will feel that you've grown
feeble and uncoordinated. None of these symptoms represent an actual loss of strength, you
understand, but rather a declining capacity to interact with the physical world."
David woke at 3:07 a.m. to the sound of breaking glass. He found his father in the kitchen,
staring out the dark window over the sink.
His father was startled. "I'm sorry," he said. "I just thought I saw . . ." he gestured toward the
window, either a dismissal or an effort to explain something outside, David couldn't tell. He
went to his father's side and looked out, saw only moonlit yard, then a broken drinking glass in
"I'm sorry," his father said again.
"It doesn't matter, Dad. I'll get it in the morning." David took down another glass from the
cupboard and filled it from the tap. He offered it to his father, but the older man's eyes had gone
back to the window.
David's father absently reached for the glass, and that was when David noticed that the outline
of his father's hand had become indistinct. When David didn't surrender the glass, his father
looked at his own hand. "Oh," he said.
"Okay," David said. "It's okay." Retracting the glass, he transferred the water to a plastic cup.
David's father accepted the offering and drank.
"We knew this would come," David said.
They nodded together.
David's father returned the empty plastic cup to the counter, then went to their small table,
pulled a chair and sat. He joined his hands on the table in front of him and stared.
David sat across from him.
"I want to go somewhere," his father said.
"We have time," David assured him.
"I'd like to see Kitty Hawk again."
"I'll put my things in boxes," his father said. "So you won't have to when you get back."
"Stop it, Dad."
"I have a lot of things."