The Look

What is hiding behind that mole?

Josephine Halvorson, Gun Holes. 2012, oil on linen.15 x 19”. Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

3960 Lt. General Domingo Perón Avenue: the Ronald McDonald House. Kamtchowsky and Miguel had agreed to meet here at six in the afternoon; she’d figured that just because he had Down’s didn’t mean he’d make her wait an hour, which of course he did. Regardless, K had something to read to keep herself entertained, and was perfectly comfortable — her ass was only the slightest bit wider than the stair on which she sat.

The text she had in hand had been a most fortuitous acquisition. On her way to this date with Miguel, Kamtchowsky had descried a hamster-colored mane next to the ticket machine in the Malabia station on the B line. They hadn’t seen each other in months; her mother gave her a kiss, asked how she was doing, and informed her that she was on her way back from a meeting with the guys at the publisher. She had with her the proofs of Aunt Vivi’s diary, and the book was almost ready. Do you want to have a look? Her mother’s little claws, the hamstery hair on her forearms, the manuscript held out. Kamtchowsky took it with a smile. Vivi’s notebooks had been her favorite thing to read as a child, not counting Emilio Salgari, the Sissi comic-book series, the sagas of female inmates, and Che Guevara’s diary, and also not counting the casuistic tomes of child psychiatry that infested the local library. Then when she was 12 or so, her mother had hidden the treasured notebooks and forbidden her to read them, without explaining why. And now the two women — who looked so unalike that no one would have taken them for mother and daughter — said their quick goodbyes.

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