When I was young, I babysat for an odd family with two kids. I don’t remember the kids at all, but I remember the quirky parents; the dining room painted black; the velvet painting of Elvis; the scarf draped over the painting that was never to be touched. My brother and I used to imagine what they might do if that scarf went missing. They sent me a note once addressed to “Kinren” and it became a joke between us.
My actual name is Karen. My brother Tom died in April (2013) after a short fight with cancer. When he called me Kinren, and when I used the misspelling to sign cards, letters, and messages, it was our way of saying, “I know you and I love you.”
In 1967, I loved Tom and suckers equally.