Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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I wasn’t good at sports, like he was, but when it was just the two of us, he liked to play pretend. That, I was good at. Whether we were knights or ninjas or mountain men or astronauts or soldiers in Vietnam, he listened with his whole self — intent, leaning in — to whatever story I was telling.
The wolf has traveled a thousand miles in two months. A director of a wolf-advocacy group said his arrival here is “something akin to the [first] moonwalk.”
I add thirty-eight points to Dad’s side of the scorecard. “You’re kicking my ass,” I say. He gathers the cards and begins to shuffle, his hands clumsy, the cards slipping out onto the table. “Let me,” I say, but he says he can do it, that it’s his turn.
I put aside the previous rejections and try again. This time I don’t mess around with coffee. I don’t want anything that might allow her a graceful out or result in a request to be friends. I have friends. I ask her on a dinner date.
Some nights, when medication and meditation have failed to put me to sleep, I think of the relatives who abandoned my family to become white people.
Music is simply decorated time.
My eyes filled again. Filippo came by and murmured, “Think of the little light in your chest,” and somehow I understood him. I don’t know how. I let the light shine.
I snuggled closer to him to show my loyalty. See, I am your grandson. I belong to you. Placing my head lightly against his shoulder, I could smell the oil, the sweat, the Old Milwaukee.
Maybe I write because I want visibility and invisibility, each on my own terms. I want you to accept these paragraphs as photographs from my mind, and I want these photographs to tell you something useful about me. Yet I don’t want you to see me.
But some things are clear: Power begets violence. Violence reinforces power. White Americans damn well know this much.