The Sunburned Daughter, Part One: Travels

Sunburned Daughter Eyes bulbous and rolling, he was toad-like on his haunches drawing twisted, disjointed figures on the sidewalk, his long, yellowed nails scratching the concrete as he sketched, mumbling in rhymes. I’d asked him if he’d seen this young woman recently, this brilliantly beautiful young law school graduate in the picture — “Have you seen her? Please, sir, have you? She’s my daughter.”

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The Sunburned Daughter, Part Two: Motown

Sunburned Daughter -2 “MoTown can stay here as long as we like. They were very kind about it when I told them the whole story, why we’re here and all. I thought the manager was going to cry,” Victoria said, then started to herself. “Mr. Garcia said Mo’s like our seeing-eye dog, and companion dogs can go anywhere in California. So we don’t have to hide him anymore.” “Did you here that, Stubs?” I said, lifting the wee dog up joyfully.  “Great news, huh?  You can even guide us across the street,” which in a way he was already doing.  His being with us was to have a part of my daughter there, too: a living, breathing part, unlike the objects from her apartment.

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The Sunburned Daughter, Part Three: Stowaway

Sunburned Daughter, Part three

There was to be no rest for the weary, lost in their dreams. Drowning out the rhythm of the incoming tide was a loud speaker from the boardwalk: Hare, Hare, Hare Krishna. Today was their parade on the Beach, held annually on the first of August. It was about the last thing I wanted to hear. “Are those weirdoes still around?” I asked. “The last one I saw was bugging me in an airport a long time ago.”

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The Sunburned Daughter, Conclusion: Breadcrumbs

Sunburned Daughter, conclusion

“23700 Camino del Sol, that’s the address,” I repeated, but our driver couldn’t find it anywhere. Neither could we. From Interstate 405, caught in idling traffic that made minutes eternal, we eventually made our way down Route One through places like Lawndale and Windsong, towns with names like cemeteries until we reached Torrance, the center of the labyrinth where Meg, and the Minotaur of a disease that held her captive, waited in the hospital we hadn’t yet found after nearly three hours driving the forty miles from Venice Beach.

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