The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed my father, Charles Neulight, at my apartment in Philadelphia.  He was wearing a finely tailored dark purple suit with a narrow red tie in preparation for a gala he had later that night. 

His grandfather survived this whole ordeal relatively unscathed and made it back home without the media getting ahold of him.  His grandfather’s wife, Ellen, was unharmed.  
My father was also able to successfully block the stray reporter and trick the rest into waiting in the front of the building.

“I’ll go over there immediately, don’t worry” Charles told his mother reassuringly as he hung up the phone.  His mother had just called to tell him his maternal grandfather, affectionately known as Zayda Max, had gotten badly beaten up successfully protecting his wife Ellen from a man attempting to rape and rob her. 

Walking in the door of the Speiser House in Philadelphia past a horde of reporters, Charles sharply inhaled at the sight of the large amount of blood smeared around the black and white checkered marble floor.

“Damn.” Charles said to the workers he brought with him. “Let’s get this cleaned up. I’m going to go talk to the vultures outside.”

Outside, without giving any details about the assault, Charles made sure the reporters had an accurate history of his grandparents and proper spelling for their names before leaving to meet his family at the hospital. “We’d like to speak to Max ourselves. Bring him out for us.”

“He isn’t available for questioning at this time. I’ll get back to you later.”

At the hospital, the sterile, metallic smell followed Charles through the hallway as he made his made to his way to his grandfather’s room. Standing next to his father, watching the doctors work, Charles was saddened by the sight of his beaten and bruised grandfather.

“Hey Char. How is the situation back at his place?” His father asked.

“The place is a mess but I have guys working on cleaning it up right now, but there are at least fifteen reporters waiting outside.”

“How are we going to get him back without the reporters harassing him?”

“I have an idea.”

“Bait and switch?” asks Charles.

“Bait and switch.”  Replies his father.

A few hours later, Charles is waiting on the street for the decoy car he and his father set up. His Zayda Max will pull into the back alley and  with Charles’ father and sneak in through the back door.

“He’ll be pulling up here any minute.  Just wait.” He tells the reporters, trying not to smile.

Out of the corner of his eye, Charles spots a reporter sneaking around the corner to the back alley.

Following the reporter, Charles runs in front and blocks the reporter’s camera.

“Hey!” Shouts the reporter.  “If you touch me, it’s assault.”

“I’m not moving.” Charles replies. “If you touch ME it’s assault. It goes both ways. Leave my grandfather to rest. Get your story elsewhere.”

Bait and Switch

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Early 2000's
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I interviewed my father, Charles Neulight, at my apartment in Philadelphia. He was wearing a finely tailored dark purple suit with a narrow red tie in preparation for a gala he had later that night.

His grandfather survived this whole ordeal relatively unscathed and made it back home without the media getting ahold of him. His grandfather’s wife, Ellen, was unharmed.
My father was also able to successfully block the stray reporter and trick the rest into waiting in the front of the building.

Decade: 2000s
Rating:
Recorded by Julia Neulight on December 7, 2017
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