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 forty minutes, I watched a rhytidectomy (a facelift). It looked like someone was making pizza and was stuck on the tomato sauce phase.
“Ever been to Jiufen?” I asked Mom.
“You should go! It has a nice view of the sea. It’s supposed to be the city that inspired Spirited Away. And they have the best gweh I’ve ever tasted - your favorite, with taro and the green one with radish or whatever the chewy stuff is.”
She looked skeptical. “How did you get there? You don’t speak the language.”
Two orange tabby brothers followed us home in December. They lived with us for five weeks, snuggling, wrestling, running around like madmen and punching each other in the face, until their owners saw our “found” signs (which had been posted in front of their house for weeks).
Chupa misses them a ton. They shredded furniture, ate my expensive paintbrushes, pawed wet paintings and shoved my brush around whenever I painted, but they were cute and soft fuzzballs.