You can't get in the ocean

”You can’t get in the ocean, Shaba,” Claude says out of nowhere. I’m writing at dawn, on Saturday morning after the night of the 60 car parade. The sky is cold, the trees are stark, and Faye went upstairs to wake up her cars, which were sleeping until someone played with them.

“You can’t get in the ocean, Shaba,” he tells me. “King Benthomaar would stop you.”


“King Benthomaar would say you were a trespasser.”

(I have no idea who King Benthomaar is.)

Claude continues, “I want to meet King Benthomaar. I’m a fan of him.”

He pauses to let it sink in. He’s smiling. I hear the smile without even looking.

“I want his weapons. His trident can blast. The trident’s basically a blaster too. It can power down mechs, even.”

There are a lot of battles in the TV show he’s watching, it seems. When my mom came to visit last month, she was taken aback by the constant fighting in Claude’s preferred shows. But I’m used to it. Sometimes if we watch them together, I enjoy the adventures, the excitement.

“I like it,” says Claude, still thinking about the blaster trident.

“I want it.”

He returns to his screen without another word.

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