Simon Says

Simon Says

I could hear the children behind me. They were screaming and laughing and they were playing Simon Says.

I heard a boy say, “Simon says go talk to that guy.”

I was sitting, facing the lake. I heard footsteps in the grass. The little girl came up from behind me.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

I smiled.

“Looking at the water.”

She looked down at the yellow legal pad in the grass. It was filled with scribbles.

“What are you writing?”

“Ideas,” I said.

I was holding a beer. It was my second one.

“And you’re drinking.”

“Yes,” I said.

“Are you a drunk like my dad?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So you don’t get drunk?”

“Sometimes,” I said. “But not that much.”

“If you’re not a drunk, then why are you drinking?”

“It seems like it helps with things. Sometimes.”

“Like what?”

Looking down at the notepad in the grass, I said. “Those ideas. Those notes. Sometimes.”

“Do you like getting drunk?”

“Not especially,” I said. “But it happens sometimes, unfortunately.”

“I don’t understand why you drink if you don’t like getting drunk,” she said.

I thought. I wanted to say something about lubrifaction, but that didn’t seem appropriate. In my head, I fumbled with the word “facilitator”, but this was a little girl, maybe 8-years-old, so that didn’t seem right either.

So I said, “Sometimes it makes thinking easier. It helps to make things work better.”

“You mean like gasoline?” she asked.

“A bit more like oil,” I said. “Engine oil.”

I heard the kids in the background screaming and laughing again. One of them called her back.

“I’m going back to play now,” she said.

“Okay” I said.

She ran away. I could hear them playing more Simon Says.

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