My father is a man of brown hair, pale skin, and deep-blue eyes. He visits the spirit of my grandfather, who lurks in the park downtown in the middle of the autumn, every November 2nd. He sets up an altar as well - he buys cigarettes, the November 2nd local newspaper, sugar candy skulls, sugar cane, dried apricots, Legal instant coffee, china paper ornaments and a mid-sized candle, and places them around a picture of Alfredo Valenzuela, my grandfather, who would drive a tank for my country´s army. My father, a man of 61, quiet and self-absorbed, is barely a shadow of my mother, a breeze on Ash Wednesday, or the smell of Stout beer. To him, the afternoon is long, made to slumber, lullabied by the images of devastation from the second war shown on the television screen. Only can the smell of butter cookies awake him from the unknown. The unknown, my mother calls his dreams, for he has never shared a single particle of one of them. It's only dreams, says he while smiling.

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