After the four-hundred and fiftieth listening of “All the Small Things” by Blink 182, he finally identified the word Tom De Longe spat out in the second verse through the whiney, muck-mouthed filter of his pop-punk dialect. “…Watching, waiting, COMM-IS-ER-A-TING.” He had no idea what it meant and was taken off guard by the band’s decision to ramp up its vocabulary. Where was the monosyllabism of the songs he’d come to know, love, and would unfortunately permanently memorize?
His mother, a voracious reader, would know what the word meant. He slid out of his room and across the hardwood living room floor to her. “That is not a word.” She declared without looking up from her Anne Rice novel. He was confused. Would Blink 182 just make it up? Even to a ten year-old they seemed like a bunch of idiots, but artistically liberal to the point of dishonesty? He didn’t think so. To be sure he pulled the dictionary from his school bag.
“commiserate |kəˈmizəˌrāt|: to express or feel sympathy or pity”
There it was. He’d been lied to by his own mother and educated by a band that would go on to pen a song about having anal sex with a dog. Not sure what to do about this revelation, he stretched out on his bedroom floor, head against the door. He grabbed a bag of Skittles from his backpack and began tossing the little candies into the air, catching them in his mouth before they hit the floor. His mother had once said that it was dangerous to eat lying down, that you could choke. Bullshit.
One, two, three Skittles in a row he caught and chewed defiantly. The fourth went straight past his tongue and lodged in the back of his throat. He had never choked before so he wasn’t exactly sure what was happening, but he figured this wasn’t it. It couldn’t be. That choking thing was another of his mother’s lies.
She pushed hard against the door but it wouldn’t budge. “This is the last time I’m going to ask you, come set the damn table.”