A Prayer for Owen Meany
"YOUR FATHER IS NOT THE SINGING TEACHER," Owen Meany told me matter-of-factly. "THAT WOULD BE TOO OBVIOUS."
"This is a real-life story, Owen," I said. "It's not a mystery novel." In real life, I meant, there was nothing written that the missing father couldn't be OBVIOUS—but I didn't really think it was the singing teacher, either. He was only the most likely candidate because he was the only candidate my grandmother and I could think of.
"IF IT'S HIM, WHY MAKE IT A SECRET?" Owen asked. "IF IT'S HIM, WOULDN'T YOUR MOTHER SEE HIM MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK—OR NOT AT ALL?" (3.113-115)
"What a waste, Tabby!" Aunt Martha would say. "It's an absolute waste of your memory—knowing all those words to the verses no one ever sings!"
"What else do I need my memory for?" my mother asked her sister; the two women would smile at each other—my Aunt Martha coveting that part of my mother's memory that might tell her the story of who my father was. (5.252-253)
With a shudder, I imagined that it had been my father in the bleachers—it had been my father she'd waved to the instant she was killed! With no idea how I might hope to recognize him, I began with the front row, left-center; I went through the audience, face by face. From my perspective, backstage, the faces in the audience were almost uniformly still, and the attention upon them was not directed toward me; the faces were, at least in part, strangers to me, and—especially in the back rows—smaller than the faces on baseball cards. (5.226)