TITLE: Chasing Carmen Miranda
GENRE: Upmarket Women's Fiction
Suspicion is such an ugly word, and trust me I am not happy that I’m full of it. The deeper it settles, the more intense the isolation, as if I’m alone on a ship rocking further and further from the shore. How far I sail away will be determined by what my mother says tonight. Because tonight I’m going to ask her about something that has shocked me to the core, a shock hand-delivered to me yesterday: that I may not be her biological daughter.
I was early to Bandera, a dimly lit steakhouse overlooking Michigan Avenue’s hubbub of designer stores, just a few blocks from my office. I slithered onto a tall barstool and began studying the wine list; a smooth, velvety glass of wine was exactly the antidote I needed for my nervous stomach.
Not caring how overpriced it was, I chose a solid cabernet from California, and I think my voice hinted to the bartender that he ought not take his pretty time in retrieving it for me. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to bring up this peculiar topic with my mother, nor if I was totally prepared for whatever answer she might give. The more ways I practiced my opening line, the more wine I drank, and at this rate I’d be slurring by the time she arrived.
“Goes down easy, huh?”
I looked up to see the bartender smiling at me, his eyes nodding at my nearly emptied glass.