Brian Gresko | Longreads | June 2018 | 14 minutes (3,488 words)


When I was a child, it seemed my dad only touched to hurt. Hugs were scarce, and cuddles not an option for “big boys.”

My family ate dinner early, and when I was about 8 and my brother 4, we would beg Dad to wrestle after we cleared our plates. Most evenings he said no, choosing instead to do push-ups and sit-ups or, more often than not, watch the news. But occasionally, according to some calendar our childish minds couldn’t fathom, he agreed, and we’d take up position in the living room.

In our corner at the foot of the steps, my brother and I would huddle, ready to rush him. This was our only move. Swarm, then clasp our tiny bodies to his great one, hoping to drag him to the ground with our weight. A…

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