Because She’s So Beautiful

by jkatejohnston

1 September 2013

Dear Max,

Yesterday Enzo and I went to a birthday party, and one of the kids there was a girl—Harper—that he used to hang out with almost every day back when they were two and three years old, and back then he really liked her. He would hug her and talk about her. Then their lives went separate ways. All through preschool he liked Casey. I remember asking him why he liked Casey so much and he said, “Because she’s so beautiful.” Then he went to kindergarten for a couple of years and girls fell away into their own universe.

Then yesterday at the party he asked me if I would ask Harper to go in the Jacuzzi with him. I told him to do it. He demurred. I said we would do it together. Then the party went into piñata and cake mode, but afterward he asked again and again I suggested that he do it. And he did. She was in the pool and he walked up to the side and said, “You want to go in the Jacuzzi?”

“I have to go with my dad.”

Enzo came back to me. “She said no.”

“She’s just trying to follow the rules because kids have to go with an adult. She probably doesn’t know that I would be going with you.”


“I’ll ask her mom and dad if it’s okay for her to go with you and me.”

“Okay.” So I did and then all the kids (about six of them) went in the Jacuzzi and I chaperoned. So the plan didn’t exactly work, but he didn’t seem that disappointed.

I’m dying to question him about it. How well does he remember Harper from when they were little? Why did he want to go in the Jacuzzi with just her? But I’m trying not to be too much of an asshole.


Yesterday I sorted all my dirty laundry and loaded it into the machine and then stared at it for a long moment. Something wasn’t right. And then I realized that I’d loaded my dirty clothes into the drier. The absence of a detergent dispenser was the clincher.

I’d say this is fresh evidence that I’m losing it, but I’ve always done things like this, so it’s not quite that. A few days ago at work I was brushing my teeth after lunch, brushing and brushing and kind of wondering when it was going to end, and I realized that I was waiting for the toothbrush to turn off. (At home I use an electric toothbrush that goes beep beep and turns off after two minutes.)