The phone rang and he got it on the fourth ring.
“Yes?” He said.
When I was in ballet class as a very young child, my teacher told me the secret to a clean pirouette was to focus my attention on something stable, something unmoving in the background, and to try and keep my eyes on it.
It was cold, dark and early in the morning and the boy was under the bedspread, the big white George Washington bedspread that smelled like his mother, when he first heard whispering out in the hallway of the big old house on Long Island. The boy couldn’t make out the words, but he recognized the whispered voices of his father, brother and sister, and he could tell that whatever was going on, it was not good. This wasn’t a fun kind of whispering, this was more like a keep-Joe-in-the-dark kind of whispering. Another thing was they weren’t pushing him to …