Once upon a time, Angela got stuck babysitting her friend’s teenage daughter, Ocean. Ocean was really artistic-looking. She was quiet and brooding and she had a lot of piercings, and Angela imagined how pedestrian and conservative she must seem to her.
While Angela fixed lunch, she talked nonstop about how Ocean probably thought to look at her that she was really well-behaved at Ocean’s age, but that she’d had some wild times, actually. She told Ocean about her wild times. Then, she told Ocean that, although Ocean probably thought that she was a Republican, she was actually very liberal, and in college, she’d read a lot of Marx. And then she told Ocean that she hadn’t picked out anything in the kitchen – that it was all hand-me-downs and that awful fruit wallpaper came with the house, but that she was going to redo everything a lot funkier whenever she got the time. Then she told Ocean that, in fact, she might just sell her house and live out of her car! She told Ocean that while she, Ocean, might not think it, Angela had actually lived out of her car before. For a week after college. She told Ocean that she’d been to Coachella. She told Ocean that she had a tattoo on her lower back, and she showed it to her. She told Ocean that she supported a woman’s right to choose, of course, and wasn’t at all religious in any organized way, although she did consider herself spiritual? And she had a whole lot of gay friends and a lot of black friends, too – not that any of that was worth mentioning, she just mentioned it, because, you know – oh, and also, she totally didn’t eat meat! At all, so Ocean needn’t worry, there wasn’t any meat in the–oh, wait, there was, but it was her boyfriend’s. They’d probably never get married, because marriage was patriarchal and she didn’t think people were meant to be monogamous. Also, she told Ocean, this one time, she’d hitchhiked and another time, she’d stolen a scarf from a department store. She told Ocean that if it weren’t for her job, she’d only ever wear ripped up old jeans and holey T-shirts. She told Ocean that she wouldn’t even have a television, except that her neighbor gave it to her. She told Ocean that she hated everything that played on the radio.
Meanwhile, Ocean smiled politely without really hearing anything that Angela was saying. Ocean was thinking about banana pants – like what if you could make a pair of pants that looked like a pair of bananas?