The two

My boys are thin and smooth, like I am. They’re still blond, though. Evan is browning fast. They have their parents’ blue eyes. They were more fortunate than I was. When I was a kid I had nothing, and I was afraid my mother would be taken away. These boys are comfortable and safe. They’re only afraid they won’t get the next new thing they want.

Evan is twelve, and acts serious around his parents. He says he’s different with his friends. I don’t know how to find out about it.

Evan got serious because his father rode him pretty hard, and he’s a tough kid. Year after year he charged up against his dad, and year after year his dad kept him strapped in the chute. Gradually they settled into each other. Both were just trying to get things done.

Mostly, Evan does what he wants. What he wants is to be a musician.

Noah is eight. He watched Evan fight his dad and decided to try something else. He wears glasses and his right eye is weak. It ambles when he’s tired. He can turn it on and off at will. His teeth are soft and cavity prone. Evan’s vision is perfect and his teeth are strong. Evan gets a lot of praise and attention, so Noah has learned how to parody being exemplary. He squeals, “I’m the best! I’m so wonderful!” at odd moments.

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