out of the box
You did not expect your stepson to clean the basement on a Friday night.
Not that vortex he disappears into to play shooting games on a too-large TV screen.
Not that dark geography where a stack of soda cans erupts like an aluminum volcano,
where a worn, pulverized couch has morphed into a throne from which he
yells mild obscenities when his avatar gets obliterated. So when the guests arrived,
you led them, cringing, to this underbelly of early manhood, guessing at the carnage
you'd find there - bowls of ice cream upended and staining the carpet, paper towels
tossed like casualties. But no. What you saw was pure innocence, ping pong paddles nestled
like a pair of sleeping doves, the floor garnished with pillows. It wasn't the scene you'd
imagined, but neither is motherhood, that room that keeps growing the further you walk in.