3 April 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Teresa’s in a silly-difficult mood. It seems to happen at the beginning of her period. She beats her feet and says, “Pay attention to me!”

I lie next to her on the couch. “Scoot over.”

“No!”

“Come on! You want me to pay attention to you, but you won’t make room for me.”

“No! I like it here!”

“Scoot over or I’ll go do my homework.”

“Oh no!” she says and makes big eyes. Like I’m really going to do my homework. Then she starts to scoot. “How can I scoot when you’re sitting on my knee? Huh? How can I? Ouch! I’m choking myself on my sweatshirt! I’m dying!” Then her bright, round face is lying back in a cloud of black hair, totally cracking up. Then, “I have crampers! My crotch is going to fall off!”

“Do you want an ibuprofen?”

“No!”

Then her stomach gives a squeal and she starts laughing again. “My veener is speaking.” (We call hotdogs veeners.)

I get up to do my homework, and she clutches at me.  “Stay here! I’m difficult!” 

 *

I keep saying that my ship will come in, but instead a whole fleet of little dinghies has docked. I have four shitty jobs: two naked model jobs, one weekend retail job, and one on-call type thing at a temp agency. 

And now I will go do my homework.

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