A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || March 9, 2008 || 1:01 am

could’ve been anybody

:: partyparty ::

There is this beyond-awesome picture of Scout where she is wearing a ruffly wool plaid vest over an AE shirt. The logo is broken up like amer/ican/eag/le, parts of it left-justified and parts of it right-justified. The only bits of it you can see over the cutaway of plaid, though, are letters making up two words, one stacked on top of the other.


I can’t think of two better words to cleanly zip up the essence of who she is as a person. Am. Can.

The colors of the photo are drab, save for the loud yellow hairbow that screams out past the top of the frame. It’s the same kind of bow she wore at the age of three. She gave them up by five but came around again at thirteen, only she wasn’t scowling like this at three or four or five. Thirteen has a block of facial expressions reserved solely for it. They evolve through fourteen and fifteen, but suss out to mean pretty much the same thing. They’re all, in essence, barometers of my thirtysomething stupidity. Indicators of my inherent, age-based total lack of comprehension.

Her arms, encased in thin grey cotton, are stick-straight at her sides.

I think to myself, when I see photos like this, “If she can do this with that shitty ninety-nine dollar point-and-shoot, what then might she produce with a decent rig?”

Scout went to lunch last Sunday with her father. She left the church at twelve-thirty. Shortly before one, I received a voicemail from her. “Mom, call me back.” I thought something might be wrong for a half a second, then brushed that away. She didn’t sound hysterical or even upset, jackass is what I told myself. But then I saw where she’d called from.

It was not a number I recognized, but the prefix gave away the fact that it was a mobile. Her father’s number? I haven’t had Biff’s cell phone number since that award-winning smash hit, He Lost His Fucking Mind And He Forsook His Gorgeous Kids. In short, I’ve not had it for over two years now. This part always baffled me, because he was the one calling me eight and nine times a day for no good reason. I would say, “DO. NOT. CALL. ME. ONEMORETIMETODAY, Biff.” or “Mother of GAAHHHD, would you juuussst! make a lisssst! and go over it once a week with me?”

So when I dialed it up and found that it was, indeed, her father’s cell, my insides began to shimmy around just oh-so-slightly. When she returned my return call some ten minutes later, sounding matter-of-fact and shaken but self-possessed, they began jumping about gaily, hollering and goosing one another.

My voice, though, my voice was calm and even as I asked her, “Where are you?”

Her dad had run off an embankment and flipped his truck. The point of initial impact was right on Scout’s side, and it was all caved in something miserable. Had Scout not been wearing her seatbelt, her head would be scrambled eggs right now. As it is, her neck is in some crazy shape, but she came out with life and limb intact; she is today the same walking, smart-mouthed, capable and overdriven fourteen-year-old she was two weeks ago and two weeks before that.

Biff surely to God must have bumped his skull, for when an ambulance showed up he sent it away at Scout’s proclamation that she was okay. I quietly had a heart attack when I arrived on-scene and was told that, because “OMG, cracked cervical vertebra!” or “Slow brain bleed!!” or any one of a dozen other far-out scenarios my head could conjure up to throw on the bonfire in my head. Ankles to earlobes was covered, I’m pretty sure.

I gathered her into the car and kept telling her not to go to sleep. About the third time I did this Scout turned to me and said, “I’ve got to have some food now, please. Would you stop at Burger King and get me some chicken fries?”

Chicken fries. The girl could be leaking from her aorta into her chest cavity and she wants shitty fast food. I told her this in a little more polite terms, of course. It was then that she said, “Listen, if I’m gonna go, might as well thicken up the old arteries for the journey.”

Listen y’all, the kid needs a sign: I’m Scout and I’m fully badass.

:: indescribable ::

5 worked it out »

  1. chris robinson 3.9.2008

    She’s as striking as her mother.

  2. Coelecanth 3.9.2008

    I hope her neck doesn’t bother her for long and good on her for using her seat belt. Beautiful and smart, the world needs people such as this.

    I’m only 7 months into this parent thing but I think something like that would make my head melt. They’d have to break my arms to stop me from wrapping Em in cotton wool and kevlar before locking her in the china cupboard for the rest of her life. Not that we have a china cupboard but I’ve got credit, it’s a lack that’s easily taken care of.

  3. Shamrock 3.10.2008

    I’m very glad she’s OK. My daughter just went to Cancun for a week and my stomach was in my throat until she walked back in the door again. Next week, she gets her license. Arrgghh.

  4. Jettomatika 3.11.2008

    Thanks, guys.

    Shammy: She’s just informed me recently that she wants to spend her junior year abroad via student exchange.

    HOLY SHIT. But if I can find a way to swing the finances, I’ma let her go. I’m quietly happy that my children realize the world is a big place and should be explored at any possible opportunity.

  5. redclay 3.14.2008

    this is the pitcher, now.

    not the first , but the second.

    some barely postpubescent kids gonna see that and get a little dizzy.

    just giving a talk on this.

    any man/boy worth his salt.

    oh Lord pretty and personality broadcasting on any channel beats

    gorgeous and no waves any day of the week.

    you got a boy now you love. and then there is her dna. mebbe she’s prone to the same mistakes. and knowing that, you cansteer her clear.

    (even tho everbody wants to make their own mistakes until they are made.)

    it’s easy to recognize she’s liable to be amazing.

    the hard part is steering her past the rocks.


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