It looked like a normal letter from the middle school Max would be attending in the fall, but as I read a hollow rattle rolled through the page from the shaking of my hands. I dropped it on table, grabbed my keys and fled. This is my default action in the face of tragedy. I first learned this when I was about Max’s age.
We were driving to a cabin on the Lake of the Ozarks. An army of trees with shades of green that Crayola could never hope to box surrounded the road on both sides. Two yellow dotted lines marked the way to a perfect weekend. Just me, my dad, and a lake full of fish. I stared over the high dashboard looking for the sign that would mark our turnoff. This would begin our game of who can spot the water first.
A flash of movement was all I saw before the impact jerked me forward. My dad told me to stay, but I was so drawn to the front of our station wagon that I barely heard his words.
Mother’s intuition was not needed to see that something was wrong. After the dishes had been cleared from dinner Jimmy remained at the table with his chin in his hands.
“I’m never gonna do anything great” he mumbled.
Myra dried her hands and walked over to sit next to her troubled twelve year old. She wanted so badly to ruffle his messy brown hair like she had done when he was younger, but knew it would only arouse his ire.
“Why do you say that? I think you’re great right now.”
He let his hands drop and cocked his head to the side. “You only think that because you’re my mom.” (more…)
In my defense, I was desperate. If my mother would have been there she would have pointed out that my desperation was directly related to my lack of patience, but I tend to ignore my mom when she brings up my flaws anyway.
It all started with a craving for a taco. This was no ordinary taco craving though. It was a Seventh Street and Bell, outside the Hard Eight Billiard Club, taco stand taco craving. No one can make a street taco like Jose. (To be honest, I’m not actually sure that Jose is his name. He doesn’t speak English and it’s just easy for me to remember.)