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Stansfield, T. (2011). The Man Named Henry. Psychoanal. Perspect., 8(1):123-128.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 8(1):123-128

The Man Named Henry

Todd Stansfield

The summer after I had graduated sixth grade, my father drove me to see the harvest. He packed PowerBars and bottles of Gatorade for the long trip. We said good-bye to my mother and sister, and then we left, the two of us, in his Cadillac El Dorado.

My father never stopped smiling on the way to Otis. He kept looking over at me, and I kept smiling back, so much that my cheeks ached. His fingers turned at the silver knob of the radio until he found an oldies station, playing the music he'd listened to as a child. During the summers we went to the farm to watch the harvest, my father took trips back to his childhood. He was just a kid driving past the short green fields of Hershey, the columns of cornstalk with perfect distances between each, and most of all, because his father had always grown wheat, the wide golden fields, ripe and ready for the combine. On these trips it seemed I was included in his past.

John and Brandon were waiting for us when we reached the main section of the farm. They were parked outside the farmhouse. Both leaned against their truck, John in one of the plaid shirts he always wore, Brandon looking like a miniature version of his father.

“Howdy,” John said.

“How're you doing, John?” my father answered.

I said hello to Brandon. He nodded. Brandon was a few years younger than me and always stood with his chest flared out. He had a bull-cut and a face brown with dirt.

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