Perfect! The exclamation marks are my effort at positive thinking.
“Yeah like it was awesome at the Pokemon tournament. Yeah, right here in Montréal, imagine a place like that, it was just like being in Tokyo at the Pokemon Center, yeah, too cool. Now I’m a member of the International Pokemon League. Imagine.”
“Yeah and I even beat the 14th best player in all of Canada. I’m good, huh?”
“And before that we eat a Piri Piri sandwich, it was great, hunh, dad?”
He’s checking that he forgets none of the joys by counting them out on his fingers.
“And my choice on Next Star…the best one. Charlie. She’s so hot, Charlie, even on the TV. You know dad, she chose the name Charlie because she’s like you know a girl, but with a guy style, yeah sweet!”
“Then you make me white pasta with just enough cheese. The best.”
“And I even went to bed a whole 55 minutes later to organize the 15 new cards I got. Wow.”
He’s now in front of the mirror, slicking his hair down,
“You know its like the perfect yesterday is becoming a perfect today, yeah it’s the school picture and I got my hair totally untangled and you washed my chic shirt, so I’ll look real good and maybe even Keegan might notice. Dad, look ….perfect.” He poses with perfect pleasure.
“Do you know what dream I had last night dad? I dreamed that I was running for a plane and I was going to Hollywood for the International Pokemon Championship because I was the best Canadian player in the world. Yeah, and you were running with me. And we were laughing real hard. Fun, hunh?”
“Thanks dad for the awesomest day and for bringing me to the Tournament.”
I rub his head in response.
“Don’t muss my hair dad!”
Sorry, this morning I have no words, Noah. I’m choked up. His gratitude fuels my pain. I feel like a fraud. Does it show?
All of yesterday, I lived in a parallel universe, stifling the howls of anger and sadness and the sense of doom. As I organized and accompanied Noah on his most excellent adventures, I felt like a zombie in a virtual world. Outside of me, the world rolled on, including Noah skipping and hopping, concentrating on playing his first tournament, discovering a Pokemon community, tearing up when his fave won the Canadian teen version of Idol and enjoying everything.
I concentrated on not showing anything because everything inside was ugly.
Exalting Noah’s joy by becoming transparent, on the way to invisible.
As he leaves on the school bus, the smile he flashes at me has no shadows, no grasping for affection. Its a sweet. loving, joyful smile.
A foreign word…