Standing Again for The First Time (or, "My Dad's New Feet")

My parents have lived in the same apartment in New York City for over thirty years. When they bought their home, the Upper West Side neighborhood was sketchy; I was mugged just two blocks from home on my tenth birthday. But the place is huge and it has an incredible view overlooking the Hudson River and Riverside Park.  It’s filled with relics that my parents have collected from their years of trips and residencies overseas. Naked statues from Africa and Asia sit coupled on many shelves, with genitalia that reach out and wrap around each other’s necks, Tibetan Tonkas adorn several walls, and batiks runners line every surface. For years, even the TV was covered by a batik screen in order to minimize what my parents considered to be an eyesore in the house. Beautiful dishes from my great grandparents are on permanent display—cut-glass bowls, an old silver tea set.  The apartment is elegantly homey with an ethnic flair, and my parents relish the time they spend there together.  Every morning for thirty years, they’ve sat in bed overlooking the river as they have their coffee—my dad on the right side, my mom on the left—talking about their days, their memories, their kids, and anything else that occurs to them over French Roast and steamed milk.