L’esprit d’escalier

by janedotx7

Dad stares off to the side. And with the same detached voice he used when I told him I didn’t want children, he says, “You are spoiled. I have failed to educate you about the true nature of the world because I was too kind when you were younger. But you’ll make your choices, and you’ll have to live with them.”

I didn’t say anything, but if I’d had the wit, I would have said, “I did listen, I really am your daughter. I know the world is a bad place, I am thoroughly educated and thoroughly terrified! It’s because you taught me well that I’m not going to look for work right now. It’s because I’m so afraid of leaky roofs, of having to count on multivitamins because I can’t afford good food, of having to work for a boss who harasses me for clocking in five minutes past nine a.m., and never mind those things–because I am afraid to the core of the destruction of our species even–it’s because I fear all these things that I’m trying to enjoy my little bit of leisure now. I’m with you, Dad, I am–I respect the possibility of disaster just as much as you do, even if my reaction is the complete opposite of what you would do, and I wish you wouldn’t be so disappointed in me.”

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