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Solomon Deep

A young man reflects on how divorce impacted his life the summer he got his first Nintendo... and his second... and his third. In the uncertain parental universe he traversed, the button on his 8-bit consoles allowed a reset in a world in which he had little control. The summer swam with refreshes in dreams, in love, and in life. This creative nonfiction piece is a reimagining of a nonfiction oral history recorded by the author.


Say Cheese

There was a limo outside our house. My father was taking my sister and I for our visit. It made no sense.

There were lights on the ceiling, and a mirror, and a long sofa, and champagne in ice, and a TV-VCR with a clock that blinked 12:00. Dad brought a couple of movies and said we could watch them later. Fantasia in the big plastic box. Fantasia.

When we got to Nana's I was changed into a readymade suit off a double-decker hanger. A boutineer was fastened to my lapel.

"It's an important honor to be a groom's best man at a wedding," my father said, "and that's why I chose you, buddy!" The words meant nothing, but I liked being the 'best man.'

Andy appeared and put his arm around Dad. "Maybe he should've planned the bachelor party."

An hour later we were in a restaurant function room with twenty or so other people. There were a complicated series of doors to get to the room. There was a woman in a suit at the front of the room. I did the things my Dad told me to do. We were at his wedding. He was getting married. There was talking. I handed my dad the rings that he and his wife wore. They were happy.

I didn't know what I was, but I felt jammed into the suit. I felt obligated and surprised. I felt stuck.

We moved into another room. There was a dinner, and I was at the corner of a table. Glasses clinked. They kissed, and everyone sighed.

"Are you going to make a toast, buddy?"

I stood, and raised my glass. There was a photographer.

"All I have to say is, this is a Kodak moment."

Everyone looked at me in confused silence. Dad took me and put me between him and his wife. The photographer raised the camera, and I raised my middle finger.

Fantasia played in the limo. It was late. I dozed off to the music and the colors.


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