Here comes the round of applause. "Hello, hello". I almost always see you going, but never coming. "Hello, hello". We almost never say good-bye.
This is where we go wrong every time: I say, "Hey, what gives?" and you say, "Soup kitchens. Mothers. The Federal Return." It's a figure of speech. But you---broken-backed, literal beast that you are---come home with your hammer and your copy of The New York Times and you break down the house with both. Literally.
I say, "Hey, dear, what's the scoop?" And you say, "Vanilla ice cream. Mulch. Cat food, and by the way, we're running low, dear". It's a figure of speech. It's an idiom, and you can't translate it into French or Japanese because that's how different we are; that's how beautiful we are. That's how colloquial we are. You don't understand the simplest forms of simile or verbal abuse. I've never been kind to you, but that's because you told me to never water down gasoline or pray with my eyes open. You told me, "Don't write your name on your math homework and don't leave your receipts on the counter"; it's because you love me, you jealous little coward.
These are the shinyugly days. These are the saltygritty, headyripe, bendybreakable days of almost-summer. Windywarm. Brittlebright. I have a whole fleet of little soldiers who bring me snacks and kill my enemies. They say "Who makes your bed in the morning?" and I say "The queen of England".
I have a confession: I don't want you to fly in airplanes because I'm afraid you'll get too close to heaven and God will just take you back, right there, right over the Great Salt Lake. So stay grounded. Stay here and I promise, I won't be the one that corrects you when you blunder your way through every single one of Shakespeare's litanies. I won't even capitalize your name.
When I say "How are you feeling?" and you say "Thirsty", I'm still going to leave, but I'm going to leave the doors unlocked and the car idling because I've never wanted to abandon you without you. And that's where I'll leave you, that's where I'll desert you: right here with me. I am Judas.
Everything is trite and untrue. I long for summers away from suburbia and salty fries. I am Judas.
This has been The Devastation Diaries.