To Try Men’s Souls

(scene opens in tossed dining room)

Me: So how was school? Any homework? (sips coffee)
Beta: Yeah, English. I have to find a word that describes me that rhymes with the sound of my name.
Me: (pause, confused) You have to find a descriptive word that rhymes with your name? Or one that starts with the same letter?
Beta: (instantly exasperated) Rhymes with my name!
Me: (pretty sure he’s wrong) There aren’t going to be any descriptive words that sound like your name, honey.
Beta: (falls apart, verge of tears) It has to rhyme with the “L” sound.
Me: (staying calm, grits out) Rhyme is the wrong word. Rhyme is “bat, cat, rat, prat”. Starting with the same letter is completely different. (Points to computer) Get on Thesaurus.com and look up a word.
Beta: (hysterical) But I don’t even know what word I’m looking for yet.
Me: (slams hands on table) Would you just trust my judgement for once and get on the computer!
Beta: (does so, stares at blanks screen for five minutes, quivering with tears)
Me: (sighs deeply, leans over to type)

(close up on screen shows word “argumentative”)

Me: There. (conversationally reads) Belligerent. Combative. Contrary. Litigious. Litigious is a good word. That starts with the letter “L”.
Beta: (bright and cheery) Yeah! It is a good word.
Me: (stares into the blackness that is her coffee)

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Why does this even need to be said?

A mile walk to pick up the car from the shop included lighthearted conversational topics such as:

“Beta, accept the fact that you are wrong. Do not be that guy that has to justify why you had to be mean to someone. It is not her fault you have to be a jerk, it is your fault you wanted to be a jerk. No one wants to be friends with that.”

And

“Gamma, breaks are for the weak. We do not stop for a rest at the end of every block, we walk until we get to our destination and then we rest. The longer we take to get there, the longer we will be walking.”

Mindblown

Beta was arguing with me that the Tibetan script on the book he’s reading wasn’t really a language because the word/letters weren’t matching up numerically to the English words above it. Just blew his mind writing words in Hindi to show him how languages don’t match. I’m gonna hazard a guess he’s reassessing my person by the way he’s staring at me across the table and the words I just wrote. Yes, children, I was a fully formed interesting person before I became your professional sandwich maker and chauffeur.