How Do You Not Know This?

May 26, 2011

[Oh look: there's a Crafting Society meeting at the Lima Bean cannery. Crafters sit on folding chairs and hold their crafts and talk about their crafts and who’s gonna buy their crafts.]

Crafter: Want to buy this thing I made?

Another Crafter: No. Want to buy this thing I made?

Crafter: No. Want to trade the things we made?

Another Crafter: No. Can I just borrow some cash?

Crafter: No.

[Ann approaches the microphone holding a large a birdhouse covered in bloody thorns.]

Ann: Is this thing on?

Crafter: Yes.

Ann: I’d like to present a new birdhouse. But don’t get too excited, it’s not for sale. It’s too personal. It’s about something going on in my life right now, and like I’ve always said, if you’re not making crafts about shit going on in your life, what ARE you making crafts about?

As many of you know, I have an adopted son, Little Ann. He’s feral. He wasn’t raised by wolves or sewer rats or anything like that. His real mother was some sliz my boyfriend fucked before he met me and when she suddenly died, he took him in. This sliz wasn’t much of a mother. She kept Little Ann tied up in a closet for ten years so she didn’t have to put up with him. He missed out on the aughts entirely.

Crafter: Lucky kid.

Ann: He lived off of Lunchables that she’d slip under the closet door. Can you believe that? Lunchables, in this day and age. Those things contain enough poison to kill a horse. It’s food for robots, by robots. Not human food. Thinking about how my baby was force fed that junk for ten years makes me want to dig up his mother’s corpse and spit on it. My poor baby never knew his mother’s milk. He never felt his mother’s motherly warmth. That’s why my boyfriend and I are trying to give him the best life possible.

The best thing about having a kid at home is all the inspiration he gives you. Many of you were fans of my Netflix-envelope-covered-in-shit birdhouse. Guess who inspired that one? And remember the little-boy-sneaking-gin birdhouse? That was also Little Ann.

[She holds up the bloody thorns birdhouse.]

This one’s about Little Ann, too. It’s about him falling in love. Now, what’s more wild and pure than a feral boy falling in love for the first time? Nothing. That’s why I had to make a birdhouse about it.

Here’s the story: My boyfriend is a sweetie, but he can be such a drunk asshole sometimes. Every Monday he’s supposed to pick up Little Ann from preschool. Monday is his day, and I have EVERY OTHER DAY. But he still forgets sometimes and gets drunk with his asshole friends and poor Little Ann waits and waits all alone until a teacher gets worried and calls my cell phone and says, Your boyfriend forgot to pick up Little Ann again. Should I walk him home? It’s embarrassing.

Two weeks ago he got drunk and forgot, and good thing he did, because it all worked out for the best. This time, Little Ann wasn’t alone. A little girl in his class was also waiting to be picked up. Her name is Nadifa. Na-di-fa. So. Little Ann and Nadifa are sitting on the curb, waiting. Little Ann is twelve; so is Nadifa. You’re probably thinking, WHAT? What are these twelve-year-olds doing in preschool? Well. Little Ann’s excuse is that he was locked in a closet for ten years. He’s a bit behind. As for Nadifa, she’s fresh off the boat from Africa. No kidding! Somalia. And while the teacher says she’s smart, she’s basically at a five-year-old’s level. The sad thing is, her parents are dead or missing, nobody knows, and she doesn’t have any family here. I don’t know the whole story about how she got here, but now she lives in a foster home for girls in Bed-Stuy and sells mangoes in the park on the weekends.

Oh, and she shaves her head. It’s adorable.

So, Little Ann and Nadifa are on the curb, and the teacher’s standing next to them, and Nadifa says:

Nadifa: Why are you bigger than the other kids?

Little Ann: I’m twelve. The other kids are younger.

Nadifa: I am also twelve. I’m from Africa.

Little Ann: You’re black. Gross.

Nadifa: I know. But the first people on erf were from Africa so all people are from Africa, when you think hard about it. So you are black too.

Little Ann: I’m white.

Nadifa: Do you have a girlfriend?

Little Ann: What’s a girlfriend?

Nadifa: Oh man. How do you not know this? It’s a friend that a boy has who’s a girl who he can touch and do stuff with. It can be fun to have a girlfriend.

Little Ann: Oh.

Nadifa: Do you want to be my boyfriend?

Little Ann: What’s a boyfriend?

Nadifa: Oh man. How do you not know this stuff? It’s the same thing as a girlfriend, but a boy. A boyfriend is a friend a girl has who she can touch and do stuff with. And she can tell him what to do and he has to do it. But a boyfriend can’t tell his girlfriend what to do. Only the girl can tell the boy what to do. Those are the rules.

Little Ann: I don’t know if I want a girlfriend then.

Nadifa: Yes you do. I’ll be your girlfriend.

Little Ann: OK. Fine. Now what do we do?

Nadifa: Now you give me a kiss.

Little Ann: No.

Nadifa: You have to.

Little Ann: No I don’t.

Nadifa: Yes you do.

Little Ann: Why?

Nadifa: Because I am your girlfriend so I get to tell you what to do. And I’m telling you to give me a kiss.

Little Ann: Where?

Nadifa: On my mouth.

[They kiss.]

Little Ann: You taste weird. Because you’re black.

Nadifa: It must be the mangoes. I eat mangoes all day because I get free mangoes because I sell mangoes in the park. Do you want a mango?

Little Ann: What’s a mango?

Nadifa: Oh man. How do you not know this?

Ann: And just like that, my little boy got his first girlfriend.

Crafter: But why does your birdhouse have those thorns on it?

Ann: I’m getting to that.



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