Back in the Same Day

By Rebecca Turkewitz

July 10, 2023

Back in the Same Day

“Back in the same day!” my dad proclaims as he eases the car down the narrow driveway of my childhood home. He says this upon returning from the grocery store, or dinner out, or family trips to the movies. He says it the same way every time: with lilting astonishment, as if it’s a great feat to have arrived at the end of our journey unscathed. He has said it all my life.

This is my dad’s particular gift: to find wonder and surprise in the daily act of living. "You really just made that?" he says with delighted skepticism when I bring a platter of French toast to the table. "Oh, wow! You’re GOOD!" he exclaims after my mom remembers where the birthday candles are kept. He texts me photos of Canada geese and neighbors’ Halloween decorations and gnarled tree trunks.

Sometimes, when I pull into the parking space behind my apartment, I hear his line playing in my head. Occasionally, I say it to my partner after picking up Thai food or an afternoon at the beach. I try to say it just as he does. “Back! In the SAME day.”

Because isn’t it a triumph to have scaled, together or alone, the arduous task of doctors' appointments or errands? Haven’t we been victorious at the grand adventure of mini golf or Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s? And isn’t it a small miracle every time we return, once again, to the place that we have made into a home?


Rebecca Turkewitz is a writer and high school teacher. Her debut collection of stories, Here in the Night, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press this July. Her fiction and humor have appeared in The Normal School, The Masters Review, Electric Literature, The New Yorker's Shouts, and elsewhere.


Image by Ruslan Ivantsov courtesy of Adobe Stock

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