July 30, 2007

Fiction for a Monday

In August of 1974, just after Nixon resigned, our eldest son Kyle was born. We named him after a local soccer star because we thought the sport would take off in America and wanted to be ahead of the curve. He’d be the first in a huge wave of Kyle’s.

Kyle came out of the womb the independent, methodical sort. We had these vague social engineering plans in hopes that he’d be the next Pele or maybe the next Ken Kesey or Jack Kerouac. Truth is we were generally too stoned to carry them out. We did decorate his crib with peace signs and played Dylan in lieu of lullabies.

I was sort of startled by his independence, having figured kids a blank slate. Three kids later I've come to the conclusion that they have their own minds. Independent cusses. Hard-wired. I thought I was getting an Etcha-Sketch when I was getting a paint-by-number.

Kyle's experience with colic was unfortunate. I’m not sure how long it went on, but it seemed like forever. Screamed his head off. I’m sure it led to his becoming a Republican. The government didn’t come to his aid, so now he’s against the government. I told him that if McGovern had got elected there’d be aid to colic victims but I guess he didn’t believe me. Or maybe he didn’t understand since he was only six months old.

In the playpen he’d entertain himself for hours, playing with each toy for some self-specified length of time before throwing it out. When all toys were out of the playpen, he’d cry. I never gave him any military-complex toys for fear he’d like them, but the way he went through them – slowly and with precision – suggested a Prussian mindset. I predicted a career in the military.

Sure enough, at eighteen he joined the army. Joined! I burned my draft card and he volunteers. Don't that beat all? Kids! They're just naturally rebellious aren't they?

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