When I was about a year and a half old, my family crossed the Atlantic on a freighter. Although this is an ocean liner, not the freighter we took, it’s similar, and the music is appropriate, since it is Xavier Cugat’s version of “Begin the Beguine,” and my dad was for some time the arranger for the Xavier Cugat radio show, though I’m not sure this is Dad’s work.
Anyway, I was struck that, although I had no memory of the trip, some memories came back to me in a dream when I was seven, after I had been looking at pictures of us on the boat. This fragmentary tie back to a time that was already lost in many ways moved me to write about it for a contest that called for 200 words on the theme of separation.
I did not win the contest, but I have now placed the piece in Rum Punch. At the moment, the editors and I are deciding how to change its name, but I’m sure we’ll have one soon. I’ll announce and post a link when it comes out.