What you do is text, text, text. We’re playing Clue with the girls. You can’t be bothered to help Ruby hold her cards in a fan because you’re too busy fiddling with that damn phone. “Matt, will you please” I say again, and when you look up, “Will you please help Ruby with her cards?” “Oh right,” you say, and Alice elbows me and laughs. Silly Daddy.
But I know that stupid look is a mere Japanese mask for the fucking-around look, I can see it underneath like pink, burned skin under sunscreen. So I send you to the kitchen to make us possible murderers some cinnamon toast. While you’re looking for the bread (“Matt, it’s in the refrigerator”) I help myself to your cell. Alice sees me of course, she’s like her mom, she doesn’t miss a trick. But I hold my finger to my lips; we’re playing another game. My smiling girl eliminates a weapon from her sheet. I scroll through your phone.
Ruby drops the candlestick. The card lands like a roof on her sippy cup.
Here’s what I wish: that I could smash your head, which you’ve shaved to pretend that going bald is a choice you’re making; that I could splash something stickier than apple juice all over the floor. Except guess who would have to clean it up?