As a kid, my main goal was to go unnoticed, so I could read books and eat Pringles or Hot Tamales or whatever joyous junk food I’d picked up during bike runs to Brookwood.
One day, as I strode through the family room on the way to my room, Dad stopped me.
“Sit down," he said. "Watch this.”
He pressed “Play” on the VHS, and went to the piano room to read medical books.
For the next forty minutes, I watched a rhytidectomy (a facelift). It looked like someone was making pizza and was stuck on the tomato sauce phase.
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.