Jello Salad

    “I want to tell people about us.”  I was lying on the bottom bunk facing the top bunk.  My hands behind my head on the pillow.

    “What are you saying?” The Monopoly (registered trademark bullshit) board was between the floor and Tyler’s bare back.  He had a red plastic hotel still clinging to his thick, straight, black hair.

    “I want to tell people about Mormons, like in a movie or book something.” With my right arm, I turned on the indoor Christmas lights surrounding the window next to the bed.

    “They already have all those Church videos about the restoration of the Gospel and stuff. Plus, you’re going to tell people about us for two years when you go on a mission.” Tyler had the silver dog drinking out of the caterpillar embossed scar, from one of the big surgeries on his chest below his right collar bone.

    “I know that. I want to tell people about like how we eat Jello Salad and have a pot roast every Sunday after church.”

    “…”

    “I mean maybe not that…”

    “Who in the world cares that we eat jello salad with all kinds of fruit and whip cream on Sundays with our pot roast? You think Mormons are the only ones who do that?” 

    “Aunt Sally is funny.”

    “Sure, Aaron, aunt Sally is kind of funny.”

    “OK, remember when we were at her house and Elijah was running around in his diaper and his face was all wet and sloppy and blue and Sally snagged him as he ran by and pulled gum out of his mouth like it was one of those magician’s handkerchief things that never ends?  She kept pulling and pulling on it and she looked down and saw in his fist every single wrapper for the whole pack of Bubbblicious.  She was holding Anne on her hip and I think she was pregnant with Sam.  She threw the wrappers in the trash and she grabbed one of the little kids’ pretzel sticks out of the bag and started acting all shaky like she was on drugs and stuff and she was like I NEED A CIGARETTE!  Remember that?  The cigarette broke in her fingers as she was shaking.”

    “I think she was pregnant with Elijah. Anne wasn’t born yet and Sam was the one with the gum.

    “Whatever- it’s kind of funny, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah, but do you think anyone else is going to think it’s funny?”

    Meg Ryan busted into their room and looked at the boys on the ground.

    “Hey Mom, Aaron’s gonna write a book.”

    Meg Ryan looked at me, lying supine, flipping the Christmas lights on and off in July.  “YOU’RE CRAZY!” as she slammed the door and left, as quickly as she came.

    “What did she come in here for?”

    “I don’t know, she’s crazy dude.”

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