The most intimate moments I remember of my father are these:
Once, when we sat in the living room of our small apartment while he cleaned out my ear. I sat on a stool, with my head on his lap. My father shined a lamp over my ear as he carefully extracted ear wax from my ear. I had had an ear ache.
Years later I knew that ear wax wasn’t the cause of ear ache, that instead it was infection. But still I can remember feeling better just sitting there on a tiny stool with my head on my father’s lap.
Then another time, I was much older. My father’s pinkie finger was infected. A bad manicure. It physically pained me to see the swollen nail beds. I pulled my father’s fingers into my hands, up against the bright bathroom lights. I poked and dabbed at it with tissues and a needle, all the while wishing I could magic the infection away.
My father and I aren’t close. We know virtually nothing about each other. We haven’t lived together since I was 10 years old.
But these 2 pieces of memory are still precious to me. And I only remembered them now because of a scene I read in a book.