I imagine my name is Deo or Abel or Icarus or Theo or Zed and that I am chasing a dog named Hercules, trekking Mt. Everest, diving into tropical waters and photographing schools of fish in bursting color, breeding dogs free of bark and bite but capable of furious meowing, loud as cats in heat, or inventing a new game more famous than basketball, more sacred than baseball. When my father, or mother, or any of my three sisters calls up through the house, “Simon, Simon, Simon,” I hear nothing until their voices splinter the pretend. I do not like living this scrubbed truth, the subject of a medical file that reduces me to:

Patient Name: Simon X
Age: 15
Diagnosis: Hemophilia

Nothing in that file is good except for my new last name; Tucker has been replaced with an X that makes me feel like the toughest of spies.

People on couch
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