The Boss

by Louise Yeiser

I wish I could sit and talk with my dad's old best friend named Boss, who really wasn't; that's just what we called him, and looking back on it now, I haven't the slightest idea why. He lived in New York, and used to visit our family every year on the weekend before or after Valentine's Day, bringing heartfelt gifts of rhyme, stories, and lively jazz numbers his wife, Corky, would write before they were released on mid-sized records that went round and round on our turntable at 78 rpms. Sometimes we sang her songs while he fleshed out their melodies on our tinny, old piano that was kept in the family room, which was really nothing more than a cold, damp basement; but not back then, and certainly not on Valentine afternoons when Boss and Corky were visiting. I remember once when he wrote a short story about my sister's horse being made out of sycamore bark and leaves, and I lent him adjectives and nouns to make it more interesting, and gave my puppets permission to act out the speaking parts, which they did on a blue wooden stage, while I hid behind a red curtain, pulling them this way and that. The combination of fancy, wit, and silliness caused Boss, my parents, my brother and both my sisters to roll on the green, white, and tan basement/family room carpet in fits of laughter, until their sides ached and they begged Boss and me to stop, which of course we finally did. Like I said, I wish I could sit and talk with my dad's old best friend named Boss, who really wasn't; that's just what we called him, but I can't because he went and died two years ago, and looking back on it now, I haven't the slightest idea why.

6S

Louise Yeiser, author of The Favorite Dress, is a published writer and writing student at the University of Pittsburgh. She authors Sneak Peeks, edits A Good Look at Mastiffs and lives with her two cats and as many English Mastiffs as she can fit into her house. Her hobbies, which change frequently, this week include tootsie roll pops, Jane Eyre, and cleaning out bedroom closets.