Kathleen McKitty Harris | Longreads | June 2019 | 10 minutes (2,618 words)
I am in kindergarten and I am kneeling on the seat of my desk chair. So are all of my Catholic school classmates. We are 4 and 5 and 6, and we stare at the crucifix hanging on the wall while our knees burn from the pain of prolonged contact and pressure against the blond, lacquered wood. Our teacher, Miss Judy — who, my father says, is a dead ringer for Jane Russell — knots silk scarves at the hollow of her neck and wears Candie’s sandals that thwack against the soles of her feet while she walks. While we kneel, she talks about the drunk driver who killed her sister many years ago, and says we need to pray for her sister’s departed soul. We don’t pray for the driver. I think, My father smells like whisky when he drives. My father has crashed a car. My father is going to Hell.