My daughter came by the other day to see me where I work, and she brought with her some pictures from a wedding.
I was thrilled to see her, but it turned out the wedding was my ex-wife and twin brother’s, to each other, and it had happened the week before. I had not known anything about the wedding – hadn’t heard so much as a peep that it was going to occur – and this was apparently not by accident.
“Mom and Anthony thought you’d hijack things if you knew,” my daughter – whose name is Rachel – said to me.
What a thing for her to say! What a thing for people to think!
Now, the truth is, I probably would have at least considered hijacking the wedding. Safe to say I’d’ve given it some thought. The truth is, I’m reasonably positive I might have even started making concrete plans regarding how one might go about hijacking a wedding. After all, the prospect of hijacking a wedding is almost too rife with possibilities, if you ask me…
But it still hurts.
Plus, I hadn’t realized I was becoming so predictable.
But Rachel, she came to my job and she showed me the pictures from this wedding which was a wedding I did not really want to see. Many of the pictures were of my own kids, though, all looking very happy and grown up, dressed up in fancy clothes for Mom and Uncle Anthony’s happy day. And my whole family had been there, from the looks of it – Grandma Nancy and Aunt Paula and Uncle Jeff and so on and so on – and not a one of them had broken their promise to keep this whole thing secret from… well, from me.
I stopped and I spent more time looking at the pictures of the kids.
Meanwhile, Rachel checked out my office/cubicle/storage area. She was unimpressed but tried to hide it.
“How many jobs do you have?” she asked me. She was taller and… ganglier than the last time I saw her. She looks like an adult now, sort of, or at least a person you can picture an adult growing out of.
“What do you do here?” she asked before I could answer her first question.
And all the noise from the nearby offices/cubicles/storage areas filled mine. Mostly people answering telephones but also some internet radio stations and somebody beating the shit out of a piece of computer equipment somewhere.
“I have three jobs right now,” I said to Rachel. “At this one, lawyers pay me to spy on people.”
What the hell. She deserves to know the truth about me, doesn’t she?
“You’re a spy and you didn’t know about the wedding?”
I’m a spy and I did not know about the wedding. This means my daughter understands the concept of irony.
“I tried to find you before,” Rachel said. “But Mom deleted your number from my phone and then I didn’t know what to do. I can’t just go bangin’ on manhole covers, calling your name!”
Bangin’ on manhole covers, calling my name. This means my daughter understands the concept of Kay-Kay being a little crazy.
Then Rachel said, “You’re better than them, you know? You’re better than them because you think life is cool!”
I think life is cool. This means my daughter understand the concept of joie de vivre.
She said these things and then she went away, leaving the pictures behind her.
I sat there and thought about her for a little while longer before I went to go spy on people again.
[****Sculptures by Choi Xoo Ang****]