Cinder

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“D’y know what your problem is?”

I shrugged.  In my own mind, it’s a long list.  Maybe it was a lack of self-confidence?  That’d make sense in this context.

“You love your parents.”

‘Yes?’

“Exactly.”  Turns out, this was the correct answer.  She stubbed her cigarette out on her knee and hissed like a cat.

‘…is that so bad?’

She pushed off from the brick wall and landed with a jangly thump, the chains on her jeans rattling in sympathy.

“No.  It’s good.”  With a closed fist, she gently nudged my chin.  “Love your folks and all that shit.  Just…. know when to change your tracks.”

‘Change my….?’

“You’re so sweet.”  I’d waited over a year for a compliment, and when it finally arrived it was a letdown.  So sweet.  She’d called Dylan sweet, but that was different.  Sweet to him was a challenge.  It was derogatory.  She was saying let’s go out.  Fuck me.  My sweet was a tattoo that I could never burn off.

She asked… well, actually, she demanded that I excuse her for a moment.  Dropping her jeans down, she squatted on the floor.  A stream of piss shot from beneath, like a yellow laser through the pebbles and gravel below.  She was always elemental, and now the air around us filled with the smell of Honey Nut Cereal, even as I looked away.

Her connection to everything was total, whereas I slipped over life as though it were sheet ice, trying to make my way.

 

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