Tender & Choppy Goes the Kid Piss Memoir
In the hallway outside the bathroom, where it’s mostly dark, I almost fall over a pile of kid piss blankets. I guess Arle put them there when she was running late for work this morning. They reek. Kid piss reeks. They pull me in though since it’s only a matter of time now. Inevitably, even the juvenile stragglers who dream so hard and sleep so deep, they almost always stop peeing themselves.
I touch the fuzz of the Spiderman blanket. Cheap Walmart $10 job I bought for Piper when Arle first moved into the little bungalow out in the country. It was her first move towards us being together. Over a massive literal mountain and an even bigger figurative one, she hauled her stuff and her kids out of her birth valley and into my adopted one with every intention of us combining forces and moving in, all of us together/ all 7 of us, before long.
I gave the blanket to her son at a time when Spiderman was his main man. Now he could care less about that character. Super weird YouTube teenagers have replaced true superheroes for a lot of young people in America, Piper included. But here we go, you know? This blanket smelling like piss laying in the hallway of a home/ our home/ that wasn’t on anyone’s radar years ago when I gave it to him in hopes of softening the strange blow of moving away, at the age of 3, from the only true home he’d ever known.
I wanted him to like me, but we had a long way to go before that could happen. But this morning, my hands all up in this blanket, I know that we have come so far. He hits me now when he turns the corner and I’m there to jump scare him, but it’s pure love now, I suspect. He throws a hard right hook at my hip and he looks down into the floor/ into the abyss of a world he doesn’t always navigate super easily/ and he smirks a little but he’s also serious because I scared the shit out of him. And his punch lands as planned and it hurts more than it used to. The kid is growing, getting stronger. I look down into his short red hair and I catch his eyes flash up at me as he gives me the finger.
If he were at his other house, I’m guessing he’d be in big trouble if he flipped the bird. But here, what do I care? Me and Arle just watched Dopesick on Hulu. It made me desperate. It broke my heart for realizing what lurks up ahead for these kids of ours. I want them to live. I want them to survive and not die. I want Piper and Charlie to piss their goddamn beds for as long as they want to and I never hardly say a word, you know why?