An Experiment

You are fourteen years old. Your father is forty-nine. You’re living—just the two of you—in the horrible high-rise near the duck pond. This is just after your sister left for college and a couple of months before your father moves you into his newest wife’s tattered stone manor on Woodhaven Road. Already, even that young—even before bills and rent and adultery—you don’t sleep well. You remember missing your younger half-brother and half-sister, who were only toddlers when your father divorced their mother. You remember feeling guilty and weird about missing them since you hadn’t shown much interest in either of them when you were all living under the same roof. You remember thinking that emotions were unstable entities—not as they were happening, but as you recalled them in time. They were malleable things. Constantly changing each time you remembered them. They were not to be trusted. You remember trying to explain this to your father. You have no recollection of his response.

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