“Malevolent . Ensorcell. Palatable.”
Sean watches me pour the words into my cereal bowl. “Are you adding milk to that?” he wonders out loud.
“I like my words dry,” I respond.
My sophisticated adult son sits down with a thud. The look in his gray-green eyes changes from amusement to concern in seconds.
“Mom, is everything okay?”
I pour two more words into my bowl, because I’ve never heard him ask that question. Usually, it’s the other way around.
“What did you just add?” Sean prods.
Sean checks his watch. Which actually is a phone, but right now, a text messenger, or perhaps an e-mail generator. He hits a few buttons on the device and then returns to stare at me.
I begin to eat. These words are extra crunchy, so the sound is disconcerting.
“Why are you eating your words?” Sean seems to have decided to play along with his mother’s eccentricity. A sign of maturity, because in the past, he’s ignored my tendency to be innovative, enigmatic, and ingenious.
My face lights up.
“What?” my grown-up boy brings his chair closer to the table.
“I just thought of three words for breakfast tomorrow,” I reply.
“Mom. Seriously. I know you’re a writer, but do you really need to eat your words, as well as play with them all day?”
“Play? Play?!” I reply, swallowing disquiet too quickly, thus choking on my words. “Writing happens to be my life, you know. My career may not be palatable to you, since your work involves concrete, commercial, corporate success.”
Sean stands up, pacing around our round kitchen table. “I didn’t mean anything malevolent by my question,” he says. “If anything, I’m ensorcelled by your ability to sit at your writing desk for hours, making up characters and stories. It’s just….” he pauses, and I note his uneasiness. My son is a confident, assertive, take-charge kind of man, so I’m taken aback by his hesitation.
“It’s just what?” I rise to clean my bowl, but of course, I’ve left no word behind.
“I get a bit unnerved when you blog about familial activities,” he admits.
I stand still, shocked. “I didn’t think you ever read my stories or blog posts,” I respond.
“Every week,” he returns.
Now I’ll need to add another word to my breakfast tomorrow: Gobsmacked.
Malevolent: adj. having or showing a wish to do evil to others; Ensorcell: v. enchant, fascinate: Palatable: adj. (of food or drink) pleasant to taste; Familial: adj. relating to or occurring in a family or its members; Disquiet: n. v. a feeling of anxiety or worry; Unnerve: v. make (someone) lose courage or confidence; Innovative: adj. introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking; Enigmatic: adj. difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious; Ingenious: adj. clever, original, and inventive; Gobsmacked: adj. utterly astonished; astounded.