Best Thing I Ever Did With My Time Machine

June 27, 2010

1982, East Lansing, Michigan.

James Buchanan Elementary School

1st Grade Recess

Tina Carothers: Hey April, my dad could beat up your dad.

Me (having been coached for a week by 2007 Me on how to respond): You’re right. He could beat up my dad. In fact he might. And my dad might get hurt real bad and press charges against your dad, so your dad will have to go to prison for a little while. Then your mom will try and stay faithful to him, but she’ll meet someone else, another man who wants to be your daddy too. Except that your second dad won’t be your real dad and your real dad will get out of prison and try to connect with you, but you’ll see that he’s changed in ways you don’t understand. Like he gets angry about running out of cigarettes, and he licks his lips too much, like he can’t get them clean. Of course he won’t have his job anymore because they don’t hold jobs for people who go to jail, so he gets a job at a Taco Bell and starts having feelings for the assistant manager who reminds him of someone he met on the inside, a guy a from Puerto Rican that everyone called Mimicita. Eventually, your parents will settle on joint custody of you because your mom’s new husband, we’ll call him Ron, spends too much time “helping out” with the girls gymnastics team. Do you follow? You’ll go back and forth between two homes trying to set up a room of your own, but no place will ever feel safe enough for you  to let your emotional guard down to get a deep, peaceful sleep, which will translate to poor metabolism and contribute to your terrible facial hair problem. So, yes, your dad can beat up my dad. And I hope he does.


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