We have a system. I pull weeds, he mows the lawn. I climb the tree, he feeds me lights to string. He cleans out the gutter, and I hold the ladder steady.
I knew why I was annoyed with her—I was annoyed with the world! And maybe just a tiny bit jealous of her unfettered expression of personality; I sometimes grew tired of wearing masks of composure when all I wanted to do get angry and flip a table! I was annoyed with her because I was annoyed with myself.
She confessed to still feeling the urge to harm herself from time to time, saying “I didn’t do it for the blood. I liked it for the, the sting of the pain”.
The sitting room was the room with all the new furniture, and the chair. The arm chairs were one of the only pieces of furniture in my step-dad’s house that were my mom’s. They lived in parts of the house that belonged to my mom. One in her office, another in the room no one went into unless it was to pass through to the living room, or the staircase. This piece of furniture didn’t already live in that house, but it wasn’t new either. I had seen this chair before.
There were other playlists too: one filled with 80s poppunk throwbacks, one jam-packed with songs that made middle-aged people go “great song!” (it was called, unexpectedly, “Great Song”), and one that only contained songs with titles including words referencing driving or roads.
It was their chatter that kept the room from folding in on itself— into its own little plane of reality, separate from everything else. While it may not have been anything remotely important or profound, the cadence was still pleasant. When they would leave, and the music was allowed to take over, there would be no one to take their place.
The kitchen is such a significant place, a place where we all gather after being away from home, a place where we can remember where we came from and where we are headed. It is where traditions are passed on and new traditions are created.
“I do remember there was a certain point in time when I rode the bus [to school.] The people on the bus would tell me that I was Chinese,” he says as he begins to burst into laughter. “They wouldn’t ask me or anything, they would tell me—which I found very strange. Apparently they were letting me know, because I had no idea”— he pauses to laugh again—“Good thing that they told me.”
But watching them dance, listening to [country music] that day it just felt right. It felt like summer, like freedom.
So I wonder, who’s put at risk if we’re forced to have these children we’re not ready for? The mom, the dad, the child coming into the world, the family … and ultimately society.
Spending most of this month in room 3232 the days began to blend. One day after the other I lived the exact same routine of sleeping, eating and watching movies and TV shows on my laptop. I was stuck in a time loop while everything and everyone else kept moving forward.
The final moments of a close game were always the most stressful for me. Whether I was in the game, or sitting out for the other goalie, I always bent at the waist, watching the clock praying that the other team wouldn’t get a last chance at the goal. So sitting in the crowd feeling the same way, and assuming the same bent over position, a familiar emotion ran through my body, once more…
Whatever it is, it’s a part of who he is: a wild, ill-filtered competitor who’s not in the slightest afraid to tell you you’re wrong.