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At the park

The park is packed. Everyone seems to be there for a play date, chatting with someone already. Mostly moms stuck in jeans and dads with brewery T-shirts. I'm happy to be isolated. I have nothing in common with these guys and I'm happy about it. I'm like Yannou, creepin'. Conversations are bogus. Weekend plans in Ventura, Wineries, Kids activities. LaCroix cans abandoned on the playground.

A Chinese family doesn't blend it. I confirm Mandarin in 2 sentences. A young mom with makeup like a stolen car has a peepee-timer going off on her Apple watch. She unfolds a collapsible potty that looks like a camping/dog bowl. Her reef-flip-flop-wearing husband wobbles over with a gait as stable as my 15-month-old. Yannou has been going around the first structure with mandarin stuffed in his mouth. The crash happens. I got eye contact from everyone that was ignoring me until then. A classic. Going upstairs, miss and faceplant. The mandarin might have cushioned a bit but the scene is gnarly. Half the mandarin is hanging out of his mouth completely bloody. He refuses to do anything about it and keeps going around other kids who are semi-terrified.

We've only been here 10min. The blood has stopped 2 min later, still chewing the same mandarin slice. He bangs his head standing back up under a structure, 6 times as if he didn't register the pain. It's therapeutic to witness. My own genes are right in front of my eyes. Self-injuring bouffon, just like me. I move him one inch backward as another dude gives me a side-eye. Most dudes are clearly there because their wives asked. The boredom, solitude, and awkwardness his delightful. Human nature is a kid's park, messing with everyone.

← Index / Published on 2024-01-28