Socks and Beans


We talk with JP often. In reality, Paul calls him almost everyday. Sometimes I am near and talk with him too. It’s still hard for us to realize he is all grown up now. I still do thinks for him as if he was attending boarding school instead of working. And I should know better because he is not only working but also getting the usual responsibilities (and benefits) coming with the job and the growing up process.


Before he leaves I make sure all his socks have a red mark, not very different from the one I had when in boarding school. After his two months working period, I cannot avoid my contrariety when I notice he always returns with only half the socks he had left with. I didn’t say a thing because I know that’s not his fault but of the person who is washing for him. Last time I thought about sending socks without mark too with an attached note to the laundry saying: “I would appreciate if you lose only JP’s unmarked socks. Thanks.”


I have a few other behaviors belonging to this “boarding school complex”. I was aware of it when I recently talked with him and intentionally avoided to tell about the Brazilian feijoada we had for lunch. You know, small black beans with lots of spicy dried meat, plus a few treats like fried bananas and slices of orange… I cannot avoid a certain degree of guiltiness for having the things he likes when he is absent. And even knowing how lousy my mother was in the kitchen, I guess somehow I always missed her hated casseroles too.