Fiction by | January 20, 2008

Listen to me, Jun. To tie a box, you have to make sure that you have strong straw. Strong straws don’t break easily even if you pull it hard. And once you twined it around the box, the straw would hold your box in place. I told you that before. Remember?

Now, hold the end of this straw and shove it under the box as if you’re scraping. Follow my lead. Here. You shove it this way then pull the other end upward. Straws are puckered, so be careful not to split the thread. Don’t even try doing it. Then, bring together the ends of the straw and do a knot. Just a single knot, though. That’s good. Now, twist the straw and shove it again underneath. Pull it up. No. Do it carefully. You’re breaking the straw.

Hijo, don’t give me that long face. You can do it. You have to. You are to be a family man like all the other men in our family. Like them, too, you have to learn how to tie. You’re Abuelo taught me how to tie knots much younger than you are now. He had me with his sinturon. You don’t want that. Do you?

I said be careful with your knots. No, don’t do it hastily. Every knot you make says something about you. That’s it.

No, don’t tell me you can’t do it. You’re my Junior and you’re Abuelo’s nieto. Here, look at my knots carefully. They secure the box and that’s how it should be.

Now you listen, young man. Don’t go telling me you can’t do it.

Come back here.—


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