…casual, considered or catastrophic
He moves in conspiratorially. I’m sitting on a very low wooden chair in the hallway outside his classroom.
Been here for a full reincarnation. As Noah was completing his tutored homework session I read a chapter of a novel where the heroine comes back in a new century.
“”Yeah, dad, I gave a valentine to Gabrielle. Yeah, listen, this is what it said… .”
He looks in the distance, channeling the poetic muses.
“…’Will you be my valentine. I love you. Signed: a secret admirer’.”
“An anonymous love note….sooooo romantic!”
“Romantic: you, me, having to do with things of looovvee, adventures and heroes, emotions and ideals and stuff like that.”
Ah, how my eloquence has grown as a parent: “…stuff like that.” A kick in the pants to the Bard.
“Oh, okay….but you know she found out right away who it was. Somebody told her.”
“Really, were you there? How did she react?”
“No, no. I was like in class and she was in the hall but this is how it happened… when, ehm, she found out it was me, she did like this.”
He dances around in circles, happy-faced.
“Yeah she said NOBODY ever gave her such a nice note. And you want to know the best? The guy who told her it was me, yeah it was her ex-boyfriend who like did it to spoil it for me. Like he went like this…(he sneers and ‘bitchifies’ his voice)….i know who gave you the note. I know, I know…it was Noah.”
“And that’s when she danced the happy dance?”
“Yeah, in your face, loser Ex.”
“No kidding! Come, now, kid, we’ve got to move it, get home.” One reincarnation is enough for today.
On the skip and hop towards home, I’m trying to remember what I had decided was supper.
“Dad, do you think she was glad it was me?”
‘She happy-danced, didn’t she?”
Was it pasta? With what?
“Yeah, but I’m scared what she’s going to say tomorrow.”
“You and Gabrielle have been friends since kindergarten so I wouldn’t worry.”
Rice? What with?
“I guess. You know dad, my friend Chen, yeah, you know how nice he is. He bought a flower and made a gorgeous pop up card and even wrote a poem, like I saw it, a whole four pages long, you know. Yeah, so this is what happened. He gave the flowers to the girl he loved in front of the lockers and he asked her to be his Valentine, and you know what?”
Chicken Broth? Trying to visualize the freezer. Do I have any left?
Noah stops in his tracks, grabs my arm. I’m forced to stop.
“Do you know what she said, the girl? She said, uhm, ‘I won’t be your Valentine because I hate you.’ Yeah, hate you. And Chen he started crying, like booohhhoooou like with big tears and his nose started like to drip and he tore up the poem and threw it away, like all four pages.”
“Yeah, she was like really mean.”
“Maybe she was just embarrassed and reacted all wrong.”
“No, dad, she was cruel on purpose.”
Damn right, my little ballsy defender of the lovelorn.
Philly steak sandwich !! with the left over meat and the almost dry French bread…that was the plan!
“I hope Gabrielle is not like that. Because I think she would be a good girlfriend. Yeah, we know each other’s personalities already so like it’s not just, you know, ‘ooouuh she’s hot I’m in love’ and all that, you know?”
I remember a can of sweet peas on the pantry shelf…perfect with steak sandwich! Yeah, supper is done!
“Not that being boy and girlfriend when you’re like a kid makes any difference dad, it’s not like we go out or sleep together…we don’t even hold hands, like, at school.”
Dessert? Applesauce on cinnamon toast…got all that! damn, I’m smoking!
“Dad, what am I eating for supper?”
“Love, just love, with a glass of fresh water.”