ASSISTANCE

We had an uncle, growing up, who would never do anything for himself. I say an uncle, but he looked nothing like the rest of us, and I couldn’t find him in any of our photo albums. We’d drive over to his house nearly every day, with a sausage casserole or baked eggs—something he could eat for three meals—and then we’d ferry him around on various errands, buying him stamps or the newspaper or maybe a Danish pastry, returning his overdue videos and library books. And it wasn’t as if he was in a wheelchair or blind or anything; he always ran down the driveway to meet us, sometimes executing a little twirl. When I’d ask mum why we did so much for this man, she’d tell me to shush down, and that my uncle’s toenails weren’t going to buff themselves.

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