Scene: Saturday afternoon, Renee’s sitting at the kitchen table, reading a magazine, and Thea walks in.
Mom, look what I found, I said, opening my hand and showing her the two pins.
She looked at them a moment, like she wasn’t sure what to say, and I was afraid she might be angry, and then she held out her hand, smiling, so I put them in her palm.
Where did you find these? she asked.
In a box of old tapes, I said, shrugging.
I don’t know.
You can tell me, she said, taking one of the pins and looking at me.
Sad Songs Make Me Happy, I said.
Ah, yes, she said, smiling like she was going to laugh, but she didn’t.
Do you have Punk Songs Make Me Cry, too?
Have you listened to the tapes?
Some of them, I said. Is that okay?
It’s fine. I’d forgotten all about them, she said.
Were these yours, then?
One of them. Your dad bought them and gave me one.
His-and-her punk pins?
Those were the punk rock days.
You want them back, Mom? I asked.
No, no, you keep them, Thee. They’re good memories, she said, putting the pin back in my hand, and closing my fingers in a fist. She looked so sad for a moment, then she smiled and got up, ruffling my hair, before walking out of the kitchen. It was so strange, I just stood there for a moment, thinking, What just happened? What was that?