Contents - This Great Society - Issue 5, Mythology - December 2009/January 2010
     
 
Thoughts and Analysis
 
     
 
Linnea McNally Jenkins
 
     
 
One Of My Own
 
 
Illustration by Linnea McNally Jenkins
 
     
 

It is the day before I find the first of many tiny turds. We wear DIY Mickey & Minnie outfits. I manufactured his yellow shoes out of patterned plastic placemats I found last week at Value Village in Coquitlam. I cut holes for the feet, and he takes them and puts them into his overstuffed manpack, replete with laptop, broken cell phone, broken pocket-size digicam, baggies of crumbling lunchtime snacks I've baked for him. I have given him instructions as to how to fold the placemats and where to put the bits of masking tape so that the edges won't drag or trip him. He'll put them on at school later to complete his costume. This is one of the moments when I know I have someone who is love. He has my mom's black shoulder-pads safety-pinned to the black toque atop his head.

We walk together to his bus stop. My red gloves entwined with his white. Our noses are painted black with the eyeliner I bought at the dollar store. No one else is dressed up. He is cold. His nubby black long underwear is old and worn thin. On Davie Street an older woman and her dog stop and tell us that we look adorable.

I kiss him goodbye, and he gets on the bus. I continue walking, feeling the fool.

I also feel eyes on me. Some forgiving, some apologetic, some unsure, and others certain that their raised–eyebrowed glares will graciously inform me that, alack, I am dressed in apparel that makes me look rather, well, mousy. I want to turn to them, to laugh, to comfort their white-collared souls, to stop them in their clacking pace, and to tell them that it's okay, I know. To do this, however, to rudely interrupt – it would not be very Canadian of me. I force a wry smile, feeling the heat of embarrassment work its way down from my face and the wet pavement work its way up through my red flats. The two sensations meet somewhere around my stomach and a nauseating cramp sets in.

By the time I reach work I am really, really, really hoping that someone else has dressed up. God, please. I'll take even one other person. A few teachers greet me in the "Laboratory." Their blue shirts and black jackets are laughing at me, ties flickering like snake tongues. Most people would call this room a "Staff Room" or "Faculty Lounge," but today I feel that our strange title is fitting. I feel like a polka-dotted monstrosity. A phantasm appears before me. It's a smiling Walt Disney—my Dr. Frankenstein.

 

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