Twas the night before Monday, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring … except for my husband and me, as we were embroiled in a deep intellectual discussion.
“I can’t believe I have to go work tomorrow and I’m sick,” I whined. “You gave me a cold.”
“No, you gave me a cold,” he replied. Sneeze!
“Nuh-uh. You did.”
“No, you did…” And so it went. Sniffle, sneeze, blow nose, drop used tissue on the living room floor, because illness is fabulous reason to be utterly revolting. Our population of dust bunnies ran for cover as the new guys in town, slimy wadded-up tissues, took over the carpet and got kicked under the couch.
On television, a guy in a car commercial yelled at me about the Sale to End All Sales (didn’t they have one of those last week?). I tuned him out–an easy matter since my ears were partially clogged by the cold. That ad was replaced by another featuring sock monkeys selling something. I don’t know what because I was hissing at the TV like a cat. Hsssss!
“Look, it’s your favorite,” said my husband. “Sock monkeys! You know you love ‘em. I’m getting you one for your birthday.”
“Noo! No sock monkeys! We hates them, Precious. Hates them!” (Whaaat? I’m a geek. I can’t go more than a few hours without some geekish quote.)
Except, with my tuffy snose it came out, “No snot monkeys!”
My husband laughed. “Snot monkeys? What’s a snot monkey?”
“It’s…” My attention fell on the army of used tissues. “This.” I picked up a tissue, “This is a snot monkey.”
And henceforth, at Casa de Kirby, used tissues were known as snot monkeys, another addition to our odd family lexicon that includes birdles (birds) houndilete (greyhound), and junkacitos (chachkes), the latter two being strange Spanglish-esque inventions.
I bet every family has a similar collection of weird made-up-words. It’s like a unique culture and it’s part of what makes “family” synonymous with “home.” Home is where folks speak your language.
Benjamin, the hero in The Canvas Thief, longs for that sense of home. As a comic book character come to life, he is, so to speak, a kind of orphan. Sprung fully formed, as it were, from the pages of a book, he doesn’t even have childhood memories. As such he understands the value of family more than many. Unfortunately, he’s also overly impulsive, and his desperation to go “home” leads to his completely NOT-meet-cute moment with Maya, the heroine in The Canvas Thief.
The Canvas Thief is a love story, but it’s also the story of how Benjamin finally finds his way home. Which, I guess, is a roundabout way of saying … it’s a love story.
My question to you is: “What are some of your family’s ‘Snot monkeys?'”
A lifelong resident of the desert southwest, P. Kirby grew up in El Paso, Texas and is a graduate of New Mexico State University. After about a decade in the grownup workforce, she reached the point where promotion meant becoming management. *Shudder* She dropped out to become a cliché: a starving artist/writer. Home is a tiny house in the desert, shared with her long-suffering husband. She is co-owned by an Arabian horse and a neurotic greyhound. She has never owned, or been owned, by a cat. Please stop by and visit at her blog, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.