by Hugh Fox
"Come in, come in, come in," said Alexander's step-grandmother Azariah, midget-monkeyish, pequeÃ±Ãsima. "It's so good to have you here for the Fourth of July. All the way from Boston!"
"Cambridge, s'il vous plaÃ®t," Alexander corrected his step-grandmother. "Cambridge isn't Boston, just like earthworms aren't Sir Galahad." Black shoes, knee-high black socks, black shorts, long-sleeved blue shirtâ€”with a tie no lessâ€”his mother Charlotte always preaching, "The child's image is the adult's reality. You want him to be General Patton, you dress him in khaki, you want him to be a cockatoo, you dress him in feathers...."
"Only you're looking and sounding too serious, pal. You look like a maudit lawyer-doctor," groaned Grandpa Ryan, Mr. Irisher-Chicago. "Kids oughta be kids, there's time enough to be old, bald, bold, bowled-over."
"You look like you've been bowled over," answered Alexander, fiveâ€”just three days after his fifth birthdayâ€”running over to Grandpa and punching him in the stomach as in come Mama Charlotte and Alexander's older sister Pocahontas, eight.
"Really, dad, you always dressed me like Madame SÃ©rieuse when I was a kid. Remember Spain and the Azores and Lisbon, Campeche, everyone would call me 'SeÃ±ora' and 'Madame'...half-joking but half-serious...."
"And look at you now, married to a Parisian, teaching German philosophy at the University of Harvard." Ryan loving the complexity of his daughters' and sons' lives, his own lifeâ€”complexity, complexity, complexity, like a giant electronic interstellar chess gameâ€”staring as serious as he can at Alexander. "So do you play the bagpipes, my friend? And where's your kilts and Scotch beret?"
"Listen, the way that monkey talks. I mean his vocabulary, even the delivery style, he's more like an octogenarian than a five-year-old...." whines Grandpa, marveling at how his super-brain daughter still remains an all-star beauty, with all her dimples and her vampire-black eyes, and a body like a combination of cow and salamander.
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"Monkeyshine" is roughly 1850 words.
Hugh Fox is a seventy-five-year-old writer, originally from Chicago, but after marrying a Peruvian and later a Brazilian and spending years in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Chile, etc., he has become totally Latinized. A hundred books published, poetry, novels, criticism, archaeology, history, memoirs. Check out Hugh Fox on Internet Search. Especially look for "Way, Way Off the Road", a literary memoir.