oscar’s first chapter: sunday.

Oscar drove his mother to church. It was a beautiful spring day, and Oscar chose not to tie his shoes. He chewed a strawberry seed that had been stuck in his teeth and thought about how if it really did rain for forty days and forty nights, it would have to rain really hard to cover everything on the earth, from the highest mountains to the grandest canyons, and Oscar didn’t think it could be done. The math just didn’t work, and he had seen hard rain but not hard enough, he thought, to flood the whole earth.

Oscar’s mother’s perfume was slightly citrusy and rosy and made him want to whack all the budding day lilies with a badminton racquet. He used to be able to send a bud a good thirty yards on a Sunday morning; waiting. They looked like his fluttering goldfish, but airborne. The crowd went wild til the screen door slammed, and his mom yelled something to someone inside about somebody calling on the phone, and then she started rooting around in her purse for the car keys. The jingling was tingling.

Oscar imagined that one day his mother never found the keys; she was forever shaking her purse; the keys just out of reach, and the anticipation of something happening – a big adventure – would keep Oscar on the brink of a big chill. And it was a chill that, once it happily shivered, was centered somewhere in his testicles.

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