Oh, children, do not look at your parents eating spaghetti bolognese at the end of a rote work-week, do not let that form the indelible imagery of your progenitors. We were young and even glamorous, for a time, our eyes wider to the past than to the future. Our hair was tousled by uncertainty and potential, not ragged weariness. We still remember more than you could ever dream.

I wanted to teach you more about heartbreak, but I never picked the right technique. You know what my own upbringing was, at least through the saccharine filter of parent-child discourse. I was in love, once, early, around your age, and when she moved on, she did so without telling me, so that I lingered unsteadily, following her around our small town, until the signals came into focus. Oh, I thought, this is how you say goodbye. You don't. You simply will a separation into being. In fact, this is what I said, looking at her upon the realization. 'Oh,' I said. 'Oh.'

Would that I had gone home and cried. This would be normal. But growing up, goodbyes were the currency which we used to pay the rent. They were spent, and could be re-earned to fill our meager accounts. So that when it was my time to be the landlord, to evict the unwanted tenant, I was confused by the resistance. Why anyone would cry for me, or plead with me to stay, seemed alien. When it happened, I thought, 'Oh.'

Later, when I wanted to beg, I couldn't. It wouldn't have worked, or maybe it would have, but I never had it in me to try. I am so much better at running, which is so hard to do on your knees. I can't tell you, I would think, or you would run first. If I told you, it would be a deluge, and bibles have been written about smaller floods.

This is sometimes what I am pondering, at the end of a work-week, eating too slowly and too loudly, my tie un-tied, my shirt un-tucked. It is because I saw her doppelganger, and I couldn't talk to this likeness, but even had I tried, I know the words I would have used, and they would have been sparse.


Were I to write your unauthorized biography based solely on this post, I'd title it 'The Remorseless Noodle', with the inaugural sentence reading, 'Spaghetti night for Brandon was emotionally devastating.'

That's pretty much it so far.
Brandon said…
I was gonna go with Parmesan Jesus, but yours is probably more marketable.
eclectic said…
I remember suddenly seeing mushrooms in trees I must've seen a hundred times without ever once noticing fungi before. Like a dream, a familiar trail in completely new territory, with bridges built where none were to be. I still remember those beautiful bridges though, and now I look at mushrooms with a vague but lasting sense of melancholy.

Which is to say, I'll have some of that spaghetti, please -- hold the mushrooms.
brando said…
those crazy tree mushrooms have tripped me up more times than I can count

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