Floored

Flooring techniques have great sounding words.

Love Letter Day 21.

I wanted to tell you a story about my son today, but thought better of it because moms talking about their kids is such a loaded narrative. I will say though, you can ask anyone and they’d tell you that I am not really a cloying mother. I’m more like my son’s benefactor and girlfriend most of the time. But I dunno. While I think my stories about him are pretty sweet and entertaining, I realize all stories about our kids verge perpetually on becoming cloying. Anyway, someone suggested he might be slow recently and it got under my skin really bad, but then he uttered the word hexagon after seeing six-sided cheese today and I felt better. That was the story I wanted to tell you without telling you. It’s really a story about wordsmithing, though.

The other kind of loaded narrative is a gun. We fill our mouths with shells and brace ourselves for firing stories that might call your attention. That’s all we mean to do when we fire these stories, I think: call attention. You don’t mean to hurt me when you suggest the many ways in which I could benefit from being porous. I don’t mean to hurt you when I assume you can handle the sound of explosions in my throat.

Let’s work our words with mallets instead. Treat our stories like parquet floors that need to be encouraged into their lanes, making patterns that depend entirely on the appetite of those who wish to tread upon us, using techniques with beautiful names that won’t hurt anyone: staggered, straight, uneven, herringbone, engineered, natural, on a bias, under your feet, under mine.