“What are you up to?” I asked Ming.
“Nothing,” he said.
“What are you doing? Why are you just standing there looking weird?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Oh wait! That’s because you ARE weird!” I said.
We laughed. You know how long relationships can be. We’ve been having this conversation for eight years.
“Can you refill my water bottle?” I asked, handing it to him. “How about if I insult you, then ask you to do stuff for me?”
We laughed more, and he refilled my water bottle. “I weird,” he said, in the kitchen. “I the weird one.”
“We know about that, in our family,” I told him. My subtext was like: I love you exactly the way you are.
Hopefully a community or family is egalitarian enough that it’s a living thing we can modify with our presence and customize. But a lot of the time, someone has way more power, and it’s no longer a living changeable thing–it becomes more of a rigid cage. Or it has a boss, and then maybe you’re so dominated you’re supposed to pretend you’re not being dominated.
I was talking about it with my friend last night and said, “I’ll play games, but I need to know I’m playing a game and everyone’s out in the open about it.”
But maybe that’s not true. I don’t play games much, and I also said how when I was a kid, with other kids, playing monopoly–I thought I had to, that life was about playing monopoly, and that my hating it wasn’t relevant–I had to do it anyway.
I felt stuck in a world where those were my options. So no wonder I’m so into choices, now that I have enough power to mostly do what I want to do, and a big world.
Our friend brought over delicious cookies!
“What are you doing?” I asked Ming.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Are you outstanding in your field? Is that your field?” I looked at the floor and imagined what kind of crops he’d have growing there. Probably brassicas, bolting brassicas with gorgeous yellow flowers we could eat.
Then we ate bananas. I asked him a question, and his answer upset me–I made a weird yell. Then I slightly chastised him for scaring me, with his idea.
“It definitely evoked a reaction,” he said.
“What are you, a reaction evoker? Is that why you get paid the big bucks, around here?” I asked. We make a lot of jokes about our disabilities. My banana had a little bruise, but I wasn’t up for walking to the trashcan and throwing that part away, so I just ate it.
Half those cookies are gone now. I like the approach of putting frosting on things besides sugar cookies. I imagine those kids having fun together, Christmas happy.