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zips, cigs and my old man

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

the thing about spending uninterrupted time with your family

—not to say that the time could not be voluntarily interrupted by smart screens—

is that it can allow you to notice all the things you hate about yourself

it isn’t that you were unaware of these self proclaimed flaws

but are rather now involuntarily spending time with them

i noticed this because i notice how i pack before i leave a place

the tetris maze that is the inside of my bag

as i dump every single remaining thing out in order to get all that i brought back in

and how the trek to my next location is equipped with the way my mother’s hand

zips and unzips and zips and unzips and zips and unzips

before she zips every compartment right

i notice my parents getting curious about every new roadside artifact

even if it is just so that they could tell me how they already know it

and of course the story of how they came to know it

how my mother finds herself unconsciously tucked in my father’s leading direction

and the way he finds comfort in leading at all

and between interrupting smart screens, i want to tell him

that i too have tasted a Vietnamese dessert

that gives a confidence i can somewhat understand

that i too have my reasons, puffing cool and more collected

that i notice how he offers his father and my mother’s father one when we visit their graves

and how i’ll probably only have enough confidence to do the same when i visit his

i notice this because we are on the bus to our next location

and my mother chats to the driver behind me

and before the driver drives, my father stumbles into the seat next to mine

and he asks if i am sleepy and offers a shoulder bony much like mine

and i am voluntarily and involuntarily home

whatever that may mean the next uninterrupted time

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