At the end of summer, Claire moved out of her beloved and superbly-priced Mission studio, since she was heading off to business school.
She loaded her clothes, Craigslist-scored Le Corbusier chaise, and pre-med books into a rental car. We drove down to our parents’ place in Rowland Heights.
I thought the drive was going well, when I heard her say over my voice, “Do you . . . ever . . . stop . . . talking?”
For dinner, I cooked buckwheat noodles to pair with spinach and broth. Chupa found the noodles in the sink and began eating them out of the colander.
“Mmmm,” he said.
“Do you like them?”
“Mmmm, warm rubber bands,” he replied.
“Want to play a game?” Mom would ask.
The game turned out to be us pinching and pulling the skin on the tops of our hands in a perpetual dog pile of claw hands. She’d pull/pinch the skin on the top of my right hand with her right hand. While she held the pinch, I put my left hand over her right hand to pinch her skin and hold it while she put her left hand over my left hand and pinched hard. I’d take my right hand from the bottom, and put it over her left hand to pinch, and so on. This game never lasted long, as Mom, smiling, would speed up the process until we ended with a big collapsed hand pile.
This game was painful and not fun, but Mom enjoyed it. She probably had some nostalgic attachment to it.