From Dana Spiotta's intriguing Stone Arabia,a novel partly about a very intense sibling relationship, this excerpt describes a memory of the narrator's father, who died when she was seven or eight years old:
I don't remember a single conversation I had with my father. I do remember, however, walking behind him on the street. He reached his hand back and opened it, then closed it and opened it without looking around for me. I ran up and pressed my palm into his palm. He closed his hand gently over mine, squeezed it. I remember how large his hand was, and how warm and heavy it felt.
Occasionally -- maybe three times it happened -- I get a sense of my father from other men. When I walk behind a certain kind of man in the street. It happened to me in New York City once. I was in a crowd and a man moved right in front of me. He brushed past me. He was wearing an overcoat. And because of his height, or maybe the way he carried himself, the way he walked, or the way his hair met the back of his collar. Or how his hand looked as he held his briefcase -- something brought back my father. A deep, intimate body memory came over me; I could see him -- somewhat -- but I could feel him, or recall feeling him, completely. I glimpsed this stranger through the crowd and I startled. A flood of recognition and longing. I hurried after him, even tried to catch up. And then he turned slightly and I saw his face. I felt, ridiculously, real disappointment when I realized he was not my father. He did not look at all like my father. The incident didn't make me feel sad, though, it made me remember my father in ways a picture never could. I felt the memory of my father on my body, the way you feel a breeze or the heat of the sun. He did not feel -- and so was not -- entirely lost to me.