Defense Mechanisms

He and I were in the elevator
with a complete stranger when
it stopped on a floor we had
never seen before and she
laughed, said “Those walls!
It’s painted like a mental ward.”

Much later, I looked at him,
noting the sad rage in his eyes
when he said, “I wanted to ask
her how she knew? Like, it didn’t
look like any of the psych wards
I’ve ever seen? What about you?”

I realized how insular I have
made moments like that one.
I think he lives it always,
on his face and in his heart.

He remembers the battle,
to better avoid reliving it –
while I have posted a guard
at the door at all times,
so it never gets to me
in the end.
He’s my favorite for lots of reasons. The biggest one being that, on any given random day when it’s too hot so we got to the mall to partake in some free AC, he still remembers the grenades we really are, even though most people look at us like we’re average kids.


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