No more with the game plan where I badmouth everything I do, think, and feel. For instance, I sexted Grace and she wrote back, “lmao maybe later in the week.” Ok, see, a line has two sides, and time, it’s been proven by scientists, seems to move faster as you age. This was not a no. Later in the week? That will be here soon, and also gives me time to prepare (flowers?).
Still, I’m showy-mad and so withhold a compliment I’ve been working on for a bit about a small part of her body I find perfect.
Meanwhile, Gabe is still sleepwalking. Once he walked past me in the kitchen and peed into the heating vent. He peed in the fish tank, which had high difficulty. He peed in his closet, in our closet, in the closet in the guest room. The irony here is that he is too shy while awake to make this happen at rest stops, at friends’ houses, in hotel rooms. I tell him to picture an enormous glass of water pouring into another. I tell him to think of the sound summer rain makes. I quote insight from my radio-youth: free your mind and the rest will follow. But he continues, crossed-legged, red-faced. My heart breaks for him.
As he gets older, the list of things I can not do for Gabe will get longer and longer. This is not a unique parental realization though.
A week passes. I make chana masala which had medium difficulty. I don’t go to Sonic for an ice cream cone every night because I recognize my tendency to obsess. I buy Grace some succulents.
My student-athlete, Wes, calls me wanting to brainstorm paper topics. Due tomorrow, morning.
“Sharks,” he says.
“Too junior high”
“Gatorade,” he says.
“Legalized weed,” he says.
“Already happened, pretty much.”
“I’ll call you back,” he says
“I believe in you,” I say.
Wes just needs a C. He’s cool with a C, and we’ll get it. This weekend at the game, he’ll stay on the sidelines, but remain looking ardent.
Sean Ennis is the author of CHASE US: Stories (Little A) and his flash fiction has recently appeared in New World Writing, Diagram, HAD, (mac)ro(mic) and No Contact. More of his work can be found at seanennis.net.