Author Archives: jellybean

On being born.

[Today is Allie’s birthday. She usually asks to hear her birth story at some point, and I was about halfway through, when…]

I really love my Origin Story.

On history.

[Steve was talking about how the US’s natural enemy switched from the Nazis to the Soviet Union after World War II, and then I mentioned something about the nuclear stockpiles/deterrent.]

[Affects a serious look.]

Ahhhhh, the Cold War. Yes.

On being excited for puberty.

DAD. I want to show you something!

Ok, give me your hand. Now curl your fingers inward to make a vagina.

[Produces tampon.]

Now, what you do is push it in, and then press the plunger – like this.

[Successfully propels tampon into hand-vagina.]

On blue.

This little dog has a lovely cyan collar.

On posterity.

You know, Mum, it wouldn’t be too bad to die* because then I would go down in history as a hero who fought valiantly. Just like Coriolanus, but with more zombies and skeletons.

*In Minecraft.

On Hamlets.

Mum, Benedict Cumberbatch is officially my Number 2 Hamlet. He was quite good.

On stuffies.

Mum, you know what?

What’s up, kid?

I wish I had a Kenneth Branagh stuffed animal. You know, just to squeeze.

On parental supervision.

MUM. I’ve been trying to surprise you every morning, but you keep noticing me.

YOU REALLY NEED TO BE A LITTLE LESS ATTENTIVE.

On precision.

[Allie is gently squeezing clementine pieces and then moving certain ones from the pile to a neat stack on the other side of her plate.]

What are you up to, kiddo?

I am palpating each segment, and then filing them. These ones [indicates the tidy stack] require further attention because they contain seeds.

On my work here is done.

[I start the car, and CNN lights up on the satellite radio.]

You know, Mum, just for future reference, I really do prefer the BBC.

On revelations.

You know what, Mum? I feel like I’ve been so focused on the potential for walking the dog with our neighbour that I’ve been letting the days pass by without enjoying them properly.

[Becomes deadly serious.]

MY LIFE WAS SLIPPING AWAY AND I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE.

Which is particularly bad, because I don’t think she really even meant it when she offered.

On plans.

Mum, can we talk about my sleepover at Gram’s this week sometime soon?

Yes!

I feel it is important to come to a consensus on a few points.

On amusing oneself.

Sometimes I mentally rotate rooms or entire buildings inside my head – I try them out at 45°, 90°, 180°, and 270°. It’s useful if I have a minute or two to spare.

On being a weirdo.

I’m taking my dictionary to camp today.

Oh?

Sometimes there’s a little time before things get started and I’d like to get in some new words while I wait.

On new friends.

I made a new friend at camp today.

Oh, cool!

She’s from France. Which is lucky, really.

How so?

I’m very interested in the history of France, with a particular emphasis on the Battle of Agincourt.

True.

Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to know much about that.

On Lawren Harris

LawrenHarris-June302015-lores-colour

Lawren Harris’ “Mount Robson”

On William Carlos Williams.

[The assignment: write a poem in the style of William Carlos Williams.]

The New Book

I sit in my room
and open the book.

The spine creaks and groans
and the pages flit-flit-flit as I turn them.

I wonder
about the strange names and places
as I study the map in the front.

The smell
is so reassuring, and as I breathe it in

I think
this is going to be
a
good
book.

On solutions.

Mum. When I’m older I’m going to construct a gun that knocks people out.

OH. Uh, when would you use it?

To help you sleep. Whenever you wanted to go to bed, I could tuck you in and just put you out.

On tidying.

Hey, dude! I noticed you put away your laundry – nice work.

It’s no big deal. I did it last night, at Dad’s behest.

On opening lines.

Allie is apparently writing a novel. This is the opening line:

Once there was a Universe. A universe that abhorred superheroes.”