AFTER MY FATHER'S UNEXPECTED DEATH IN 1990, I longed to see him in a dream. Two years passed before he made his appearance. I was sick in the dream, it was nighttime and I was driving through Culver City in the pouring rain, looking for a pharmacy where I could fill my prescription. I tried a Sav-On, a Thrifty Drug. At each one, the on-duty pharmacist shook his head. Continuing on in the downpour, I noticed a corner pharmacy, a relic from the '50s. Dripping wet, I ran inside. There behind the counter, wearing his familiar white smock, stood my father.

He was a small man; but in the dream he was huge. He was a gentle man; but in the dream he raged. "You've been ignoring me. You haven't visited in months!" I protested, insisting he was dead. He grew even angrier. I woke up, heart racing. What did he mean? What had I ignored?

Just a few weeks later, clearing out my parents' garage, I uncovered a box containing hundreds of letters my dad wrote home to my mother as an Army infantryman during the Pacific War. As I read them, I began to understand his longing for normalcy, for quietude, for a small town like Culver City. I began to comprehend what an accomplishment it is to make a home, a life, and a world of possibilities for your children. I began to understand why my father believed that if there's a cure for what ails you, why suffer?

-Louise Steinman

Theresa Chavez

Oscar Garza