“Her moodiness...” my mother says in a loud whisper to Aunt Arlene. “It's those teenage hormones.”
I glare at the back of her head. She'd be moody too if she were responsible ... [+]
“My favourites!” he’d say, and give me a hug!
I begged my mother to clean the house. Our house was nothing like Donny’s. Our house was a tumble of lumpy cushions and dusty curtains, nests of cigarette butts, clusters of newspapers and dirty dishes and my younger brothers’ toys, and a slump of Good Housekeeping magazines my mother collected.
Without taking her eyes off her favourite soap opera, my mother said, “I’m not a maid. Clean it yourself.” So I did. I tidied and swept and scrubbed and polished.
I waited and waited for Donny. By midsummer my dream faded. Plus, I was tired of cleaning and tired of wishing for a fridge full of virtue.
In one of the Good Housekeeping magazines I discovered three things: pomegranates and brie and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Mikhail. When I whispered his name, it was like a breeze fluttering the leaves. He was mysterious and exotic, a true artiste. From him, I learned a new word: defector. I dumped Donny for Mikhail. I imagined him lifting me high over his head into the tree where I would pluck plump saskatoons, the berries bursting with possibility. Together we’d grand jete across the backyard, over the septic tank, and into a new cultural era.