Child #1:        [Parent], no parent does that.  You don’t have to do that.
City Councilperson:    … if they were not in my same situation they wouldn’t do it … but it sounds like a reasonable thing to me.
Child #1:        No it doesn’t.  You start dinner …
City Councilperson:    I don’t know why it’s so bad.
Child #1:        Because.
City Councilperson:    You could wait in the car if you want, and then I’ll go in and we’ll keep going.
Child #1:        How long will it be?
City Councilperson:    Well, it won’t be fine for you to wait in the car.  I could go and–
Child #1:        –no–
City Councilperson:    –I could drop you off at home and–
Child #1:        –you can just forget it and then go to dinner with us.
City Councilperson:    But I would like to go. It would be a fun thing to go to. I would like to go.
Child #1:         So?  You’re forgetting your responsibilities.  You can go when [parent]’s in town.
City Councilperson:    I can’t go when [parent]’s in town.  [Parent] causes problems whenever [parent]’s in town.  [Parent] doesn’t want me to go.  Either way, I’m always, like, having problems doing anything I want to do.

Child #1:        [Child #2] doesn’t know how to count without using …
Child #2: It’s hard, I’m only in second grade.
Child #1:        I could do multiplication, my times tables in second grade.  In French. All the way up to twelve.
City Councilperson:    Don’t listen to [Child #1].
Child #1:        [CC Parent], you know that’s true.
City Councilperson:    Why would I want to be home with you fighting with [Child #2] tonight, instead of going someplace where I would have a nice time?
Child #1:        No, after dinner.
City Councilperson:    Just tell me, why?
Child #1:        After dinner.
City Councilperson:    Oh, yeah, after dinner it’s going to be different.
Child #1:        Then you can stay there.  Okay?
City Councilperson:    You tell my why I would want to spend time with you when this is what happens.
Child #1:        This isn’t what happens a hundred percent of the time …

Derek Bridges lives in New Orleans, trading in words and pictures. A carpetbagger of long standing, he grew up in the top right corner of IL and later went to college in the middle cornfield part. He has also lived in MS and FL, for educational purposes only, and was diasporized for a time in TX.

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