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  • It was the one big trip we did together. I made you plan it, or most of it, with the agreement that I wouldn’t judge your choices, that we’d stay within a certain budget, and that air conditioning was only necessary in the last two places we stayed.

    There were plenty of good things to recall, and I would venture that we’re still both glad we did it. It was the summer before you left for school, again, the summer before, per your request, I stayed in Vermont and you took off to a place where the sun sets later. I wanted to go with you, and you know this.

    You told me you wanted school to be your thing, independent of me. Fine. Later, you told me it was because of my rage. I look back at things, and this makes sense. I did get mad, it’s true.

    But first, there was this grand trip to Central America, ten days together; hiking, oceans, rocky roads. Volcanoes, monkeys, a national beer. You got car sick on some of those roads, and we were both surprised when we saw raccoons.

    Then there was this fucker, this parrot. He wanted my granola bar and bit my goddamned toe when I didn’t give it to him. I gave him a piece and he still came for me. It was a cross between a sprint and a waddle, his wings spread for effect.

    You laughed, and I did, too eventually. A fearless fucken macaw, and the other tourists looking on.

    We got back in a van, to our next destination. Ten days off, away from the rest of our lives.

    Paradise, with attack birds.

    Paradise; even here, we fought. Even here, I made you cry.
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