Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do

I am six, I am in the calm quiet water, I am on my back, I am drifting unnoticed out to sea on a sunny day: the day my parents brought us all to the beach, the day we ended asleep in the station wagon because there wasn't money enough for the Howard Johnson's.

I remember my father's hand closing around my ankle and pulling me towards him, towards shore. I remember hating him in that moment, thinking he had broken some magic spell. But then there was hamburgers and french fries and ice cream, and that was magic enough.