David Means


The Chair

Day after day I went through the ­paternal motions, testing my son while he tested me, trying to teach him not only to do what I said, which seems like a given, but also to see and taste the world in certain ways, with an ideal in mind, a purified vision of the best way to live reduced to a rudimentary, five-year-old version: good eye contact with others, a sustained gaze, not just looking, but giving an indication of having seen—a head nod—and maintained long enough to show respect and not too much fear.