31 May 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Me: “When you play soldiers, do you want one side to win or just everyone to do good, or what?”

Enzo: “I want the green guys to win.”

Me: “Always the green?”

Enzo: “Yeah. Tan is so closely related that it’s considered yellow.”

Me: “What’s wrong with yellow?”

Enzo: “I don’t like it.”


Me: “So do the green guys always win because you want them to? Or do the tan guys ever win or what?”

Enzo: “The green guys retreat if they’re outnumbered. Any fighter would do that.”


I was reading the food section aloud to Enzo at the dinner table. There was an article on ideas for different kinds of tacos, and one of them was steak wrapped in a warm corn tortilla and dipped in Béarnaise sauce.

Me:  “Have you ever heard of Béarnaise?”

Enzo: “Grenades?”

So I explained Béarnaise and he explained grenades.

Me: “Butter, egg yolk, lemon.”

Enzo:  “Totally awesome bomb.”

(I guess I was thinking of hollandaise.)


I was reading Enzo a snake book, and it said that there’s a kind of rattlesnake that lives in South America.

Me: “I thought all rattlesnakes lived in North America.”

Enzo: “No way. There’s even one that lives in Africa. Africa wouldn’t be complete without a rattlesnake.”


You know how Enzo’s green soldiers retreat when they’re outnumbered? It reminds me of all the problems and obstacles I put into my fantasies of fame and fortune. I mean, you’d think, that since it’s my fantasy, I could just make it all good. But no. Like when I imagine winning the Bake Off, it’s wonderful but then Teresa and I fight about what to do with the extra money. Everyone hates us because we don’t give the money to them. People think we’re richer than we are. We send Enzo to private school and he ends up running with a fast crowd and getting in trouble. We remodel the kitchen and the contractor screws us. I mean, where’s the story if you don’t put problems into it?

And I think my fantasies may be pretty realistic. I’ve read that lottery winners end up only a tiny bit happier than amputees.