Yesterday, my mother drove two hours from Cincinnati to take me to breakfast. While my hungover stomach caved in around itself in the Columbus Red Roof Inn, I prayed to the gods of clarity to make me a good son. I’ve spent too many years taking out my own emotional confusion on my mother because she never stops loving me. She would rather be with me than without me, even when I’m a dick, and I’ve spent years fashioning that into some sort of license.

I make it through a breakfast burrito, and keep the narratives about last night’s reception minimalist. We have two hours until she drives me to the airport, so we go to Goodale Park.

My mother is the kindest person a lot of people know. I often tell her this, and she consistently assures, “You haven’t always known me.”

Just. Read it, okay?