I don’t really write about food. I love food, and play with it daily, but my experiences are what truly feed me. Family and friends, work, things that I do, and things I think about…Whenever I think about writing about food, I end up writing about something else. Often, the something else is Byrdboy #2.
Some of you may think that I neglect Byrdboy #1 in favor of #2, but the truth is that #2 still lives with me, he never stops talking, and he is weird. Generous Byrdboy #1 would be the first to provide more #2 material for my stories, so I don’t feel at all guilty about it. Maybe a little. Whatever.
This is an actual accounting of 26 recent minutes spent with the BB2. I couldn’t remember or fit everything that happened in the 26 minutes into the story, but I wrote it all down the minute I got home, so it comes close. He’s really exhausting and fun, full of goofy tenderness and a kind of yearning that makes me feel so hopeful.
He brings out the weird in me, as well.
The BB2 is going to meet his girlfriend at a bus stop near our house. Actually, it’s not the usual place, he informs me - but across from the usual place, closer to the school. I tell him I’ll drop him off if he’ll run with me to the store real quick. We’ll do a ‘sweep’ and I’ll have him there to meet her in 26 minutes.
In the car he starts up:
You know the Pledge of Allegiance?
Duh. Wouldn’t it be better without the “under God?”
I don’t know. I like the rhythm of the ‘under God.’ It’s like,
There’s a good thump to it
Yeah, it just doesn’t seem fair to everyone.
No… but you have to remember that The Pledge was written at a time when, if you weren’t Christian, you didn’t count as an American… and we’re still tricky about that.
Whoa, Mom. You just made a face like a pirate!
I did? Yar! … Would you rather have a peg leg or a hook hand?
Wait. Would it have to be a peg or could it just be a wooden leg?
Well yeah, it would be a wooden leg…
I mean, could it have like a foot on it?
What? No! Right, you can have an effing bionic prosthesis! No, it has to be a peg leg.
You should have had another choice of no eye, like an eye patch or something…
Nope! My game, my rules.
Hm. Okay, I guess I’ll take the hook hand. A peg leg would make me feel nervous.
Okay. A hook hand it is. Have fun scratching your arse.
Hum….hum de dum… [sings] … hey buddy, how’s it goin’…
We both bust out in hysterical laughter that lasts way too long.
In the store he is walking behind me, jiving to the canned funk music:
It would be so cool – this would probably never happen – if someone would pay me to dance behind people while they shopped.
That would totally never happen
I wish it would! It would be so awesome.
You’d be a natural, already practiced.
Look! All these people think I’m way cooler than you. They’re like, ‘Look at that kid. He’s way cooler than his mom.’
God, I’m really good at this.
In the checkout line:
If I wasn’t going on a date I would totally get one of those.
Why is it a bad idea on a date? Get her one, too.
Oh, yeah! Then I’ll be like –
Holds hands behind back.
Holds one hand out and raises one eyebrow.
You can say, ‘Here baby, this is for you.
No, I’ll just be like –
Raises one eyebrow.
In the car again:
Who is your favorite, Snap Crackle or Pop?
Oh, Snap! Just kidding. I don’t even remember who is who.
Snap is the one with red hair.
No, not him. I hate him. Which has brown hair?
With the red?
Yeah. He has a red shirt.
Okay. I dig him.
Wait. Where are you going?
I told you! I’m going back this way to get you on the right side of the street.
But it’s back there.
What? Whitman is like 5 blocks farther this way.
No. What? I’m talking about the school.
Oh. Wait. I was thinking . Sorry. I’ll turn around and go up this way.
I can feel his tension building - we only have 3 minutes left, we might be late, he hates being late - as he sings along with the radio:
“Oh and ain’t that America for you and me?” …
There’s a divider in the street and I can’t get across so I’m going to have to turn right. Shoot. Now I’m gonna get stuck at this light. He’s going to be a nervous wreck.
…somethin’ to seeee, baby… Oh Jeez, look. Now she’s on the phone.
Your girl? Can you see her?
No. The woman in that car. I hate her. I think maybe you should just let me out here. I think maybe I could walk it faster.
Are you sure?
Yeah. Just let me out here and I’ll cross and run up.
Okay. Don’t get hit by a car.
Alright. Have fun! Call me and let me know what you’re doing.
Okay. Thanks. Bye.
And he’s gone. I can see him, though.
He’s a long handsome boy, loping across the street through traffic,
wearing a lime green zip-up, a coral t-shirt, black pants, and bright orange high-tops.
Each hand clutches a jumbo Rice Krispies Treat.
His face is earnest and his stride is sure as he reaches the other side;
he sees nothing but his destination.
“…little pink houses for you and me.”
I had the BB2 read this before I shared it with you. I don’t want to embarrass him and I don’t want to get killed. He has usually forgotten everything by the time he reads my account, so he was smiling and chuckling with remembrance as he read (and I think he’s always a little surprised when I bother to write it down, too). When he finished, he grinned and said:
Whenever I read what you wrote about me,
I feel so good about myself.
Just so you know why it has to be published.
You are good, Loomi.