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Two Definitions of Love

June 12, 2014
What?

Even a broken plate is right two times a day….

When I was 14, my mother threw a porcelain dinner plate at my head.  She missed on purpose, of course.  That is love.  It shattered on the wall instead.

Her boyfriend, the failed wedding singer, the failed man, was making homemade chicken nuggets, (it was the one thing he did well) trying to ignore the latest iteration of domestic drama at Harwick Drive. He followed me out onto the street as I fled the room, the house. It was hard for him to keep up; I was fueled by righteous anger and teenaged-tinged despair, and he was chubby.  His belly wobbled under his stained tee each time his Birkenstocked feet hit the pavement. His meaty hands were white with flour.

He was so painfully pathetic that even I, with a dim unspoken certainty, knew I should reward his effort.  I slowed down, and he caught up to me, his cheeks blowing in and out, his leathery face red.  He was so earnest, he always tried so hard, he was trying now, he was so fucking trying.  Mr. Mom’s Boyfriend, good for nothing. 

So I let him bribe me into returning to my mother’s house.  We walked side by side down the street. He held the front door open for me. The house was quiet, the plate was still on the floor. My mother had retreated to the bedroom, my brothers to their video games.

He squeezed my hand once, and then I flung myself onto the couch. I watched as he bent down, and cleaned up the plate. He then headed upstairs to deal with my mother. He came back down the stairs and quietly washed his hands. I watched his watery blue eyes reflect a quiet pride. He put the chicken nuggets in the oven. And this too, is love.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2014 6:58 PM

    Yes.

  2. June 13, 2014 2:42 AM

    You write beautifully and movingly. Please keep writing, I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

  3. April 5, 2015 7:44 PM

    I like your gruelling honesty. Your writing is beautiful.

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