…in all directions
“You’ve told me several times already.”
“No but I didn’t tell you about the best. Inside, there’s a whole bunch of stuff. You know there’s the special booster pack, yeah and then there’s a poster that shows you how to draw the Pokemon and then…”
No point in trying to stop him. He’s hit his rhythm like a rap artist on a roll. I will hear again the inventory of wonders shrink wrapped with a Pokemon magazine that he saw two days ago in a news stand. I just need to wait him out with small grunts and nods.
Three street corners and several hundred words later he’s coming to an end.
“…yeah and that’s not all, the best is that you get a code for capturing a Pokemon that only happens once like every six months in that game that, you know, I told you, the one Domenic was going to lend me. Yeah, that’s why it’s cool.”
“And 12 dollars, Noah. Way too expensive.”
“But worth it. I’m not saying I want it.”
“Yeah right. You’ve told me everything wonderful about it a few times. You try to wear me down, Noah and it’s exhausting that the first No isn’t enough.”
“I’m just saying, dad.”
“Well find something else to say, Noah.”
Half a block of silence. It’s a beautiful, warm Wednesday. Girls wear skirts and light tops, showing off their uneven sunburns.
My mind travels beyond the confines of our daily walk from school to home. It flies to memories of sweet embraces, exotic bodies, familiar gestures of pleasure.
“Dad, I have a question.”
“Is your life like better since I came here.”
Says the alien?
“You mean since you were born?”
“Yeah, I guess like you lived a lot of stuff you would never have lived if I wasn’t there. Right?”
If only you knew. I could make a Pokemon-like inventory that would span several cities and thousands of words.
“Like you would never have known anything about Mario and video games and Pokemon …”
Doesn’t waste anytime, does he?
“…and you would never have met like so many people that you met, like P…. and like J… , yeah girlfriends that you had, thanks to me being there. Right?”
The range of my feminine frequentations has clearly been defined by my life with child.
“…yeah and you save a lot of money, too, because like you can’t go out at night in the bars and like to parties and stuff that really costs a lot.”
As if raising you, my little dork, is cheap.
“Yeah, so having me in your life is a really good thing, right dad?”
“I’m so happy to be alive dad, and to be like with you.”
“Same here, kid. I love being with you.”
“Dad, I’m starved.”
I pull a banana out of my pocket and hand it to him. Sometimes, I’m equipped. I negotiate my way through the crowd flowing by us. I forget for a moment about Noah, who is trailing a few steps behind.I get lost in pleasant reverie.
I turn back lazily and look down at the 54 inch wonder that sprung from my loins. He’s holding the partially peeled banana over his head, pointing to his open mouth. His wicked smile is proof that his simulation of oral sex is no accident. His eyebrows go wild in Groucho-like double entendre’s.
“…you get it dad, huhn, you get it.”
“Noah, what are you doing?”
I’m no prude, but do I really want my 9 year old to be simulating oral sex with a banana on a busy street in my neighborhood?
“You don’t get it dad?”
And he moves the banana in and out of his open mouth. I snatch it away.
“That’s for eating, Noah. What exactly do you think you were doing?”
“Gross sex, dad. You know.”
“Where did you learn that?”
“I don’t know dad. My friends at school, I guess.”
He hangs around with Grade Six boys.
“If you find it gross, don’t do it. You’re a kid, just eat the banana normally.”
“Do you find it gross?”
“Sex is not gross. A nine year old sucking a banana is gross. When you’ll have hair on your chin, we’ll have this conversation again. Okay?”
He takes a bite out of his banana, the boring way.