Inheritance (1) Sweet Thirteen and a Half

A letter from X., on her son and his father
Winnipeg, Manitoba • June 22, 2000

Dear Mike,
He's thirteen and a half, which you probably know, and are happening. So, first this morning, when his eyes open and his sheet is as always half off his bed, he grabs his CD remote control and pushes play and we hear hip hop music all the house (same house as always, it's red and yellow now, not blue). He comes downstairs wearing boxers, all arms and legs and , he's tall, taller than me, and sits at the dining room table eating Honey Nut Cheerios and reading yesterday's comics.

He has the number 60 on his leg in black . That was his number yesterday at the basketball try-outs, which he didn't make due to of confidence, said the coach, though he's got the , and next year he'll be older and ready. It doesn't him, none of his friends made it this year, and his school coach had told them they but that it would be a good experience. That's what he and his friends said to each other after the try-out. Hey, good experience, eh? Oh yeah, excellent experience. that was a good experience! They're pretty funny.

Then he goes downstairs and has a shower, listening to Kid Rock, heard of him? Last C. and him went to Minneapolis for a Vikings game and Kid Rock was staying in the same hotel, drinking in the bar, but O. was too shy to go to him and say hello. There's one song he plays over and over which everybody knows my name, say it way out loud, or something like that, over and over, loud while he showers. Sometimes he sings , but not today.

Then he has to decide to wear shorts or jeans because it's June here and you know that's like. He decides on shorts, long and baggy, with the elastic top of his visible above his shorts, and his shorts low on his hips, and his Nike hooded (he used to boycott Nike and McDonald's, but not recently) and his Adidas runners and white socks, and still, in spite of showering, a 60 on his leg.