He is a hideous little thing, my prince, an unfortunate monster with unnatural features. The deep red pockmarks that puncture his cheeks rhyme with the cone-like horn protruding from his head. The bumpy texture of his skin contrasts with the smooth green finger-claws of each hand–only three digits–and no opposing thumbs. His limbs were sprung from the mold without any attention to grace or the illusion of physical strength or beauty. The badly painted eyes blur out of their sockets and as for ears and cheeks, the protrusions are confusing to identify, placed at random on the side of his head. Such is the privilege of royalty, perhaps, to be able to disregard the qualities on which mere mortals rely for attracting a mate. Because yes, that is his role, to stand for a promised prince.
We were such good friends, and yet we never talked about so many of things affecting us, things that were happening to us, that were important to us. Why is that? Shame, embarrassment? The fear of exposure to others of problems, difficulties, and families that we were convinced were unique to us alone? With all the various means of communication available now, I wonder if this code of silence still exists among young people today.
On another note, Prince, meet Gobbledygook. A once sticky rubbery figure turned Christmas ornament from the Philadelphia Sacksteder household, passed down to the Carney household and now to Carney progeny- son and grandsons. This has become a favorite Christmas ornament in spite of the fact that Gobbledygook has lost the lower section of each leg. Boys. Go figure. But your mother? I liked her but could never really figure her out and was a little afraid of her. What was she thinking?