It was time for dinner.
I’d waged the war and won-
getting out of bed and talking my way to the house.

My inner voice, peeped.
“what if and then and what and what,”
“oh no,”
and I thought “then if, so if, I will, it’s looking grim but I’ll say this,”
Satisfied and looking up
stepping inside. hat on.

seated, hat on the first shots fired my way
“hat off, Patrick,”
crude! rude too.
I eyed my cereal,
rice bubbles and chocolate milk.
crunched the numbers on it-
cheaper than coco pops.
Smirked and took a few spoonfuls.

“its not respectful to have your hat on at dinner,” she said.
“that’s just a construct of society and how you were brought up,” I said through my cereal spotted teeth.

I gulped some air, and said “besides, its winter. I’m cold, and i’m eating cereal, its not dinner technically. The meal is totally outside of your temporality. You guys just pretend i’m rushing to class, its the morning, everything will be fine, within the confines of these walls”

That seemed to quell discussion,
But my brother reached over the table and put his hand on my hat.
I didn’t react.

He slowly removed the hat, I slowly put down my spoon and sat rigid.

“ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, he said in satisfaction.

I shuddered a little, though I doubt it showed.

My mother’s eyebrow stuck up at an angle.
My father said “what did you do to your hair”

I took a healthy lungful of air and recounted how i’d dyed it and had an allergic reaction. I’d washed and washed and washed and then finally shaved, so that I could apply a cream to the scabs and irritated skin.

I suppose I looked like a pornstars foreskin after a hard day of it.

I felt tears pooling at the bottom of my eyes,
my sinuses sank with moisture and I felt tired again.
Nose running, and eyes blinking furiously I looked between the family of concerned, red and faces.

They were moved, I could tell but I could only feel sorry for myself.
I had lied. A had really lied bad.

I felt a weight had been lifted.
That which had troubled me for weeks, my parents well wishings and thoughts of punishments went down the sink.

I finished my cereal, tipping the bowl and asked my brother for my hat back, which sat upon the table. He cracked his knuckle and returned the hat, like a frightened, trained monkey.
I almost smiled as I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand.

Such unjust lives, punishment and pessimism.
I wonder when i’ll have to come clean.

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