Saturday night, six o’clock on the nose. Emma turns on the radio—her favorite show, her favorite station, always a Frank Sinatra number at the top of the playlist. She relishes the element of surprise, the musical finesse it takes to segue from torch songs to golden oldies that render her a teenager sunning on the beach. Nobody used sunblock back then. Sunburn let you know summer had arrived. Noxzema got you through the pain . . .
Elizabeth heard the door bang and footsteps clatter in the kitchen. She was relieved that it was not her daughter’s gait. This was another teenager. A girl holding a gun. Dear God, where did these children get these weapons? What possessed them? . . .
“That boy Carlson is a liar and a rogue,” I tell my daughter Eve on a Saturday night, as she primps to leave for a house party in Brooklyn. “I wouldn’t go near that boy with a ten-foot pole . . .”