Torque

My hand was too hot, so Jenn readjusted her hand-hold when we walked to dinner a few blocks up.

I have hot hands, which the palm-reader labelled as ‘passion hands’; the pre-natal masseuse said the same when she allowed me to pass fingers across Jenn’s back, Jenn seven-months pregnant.

My co-worker laughs: says ‘worst super-hero power ever.’ Because I admitted that, when my hands are at ten and two, I fog up my windshield driving to work. True story.

I passed a parked Datsun on the way back from the park today with the kids. My immediate thought was, ‘Man–those Datsuns had torque.’ Which was stupid: I never took physics and fuck if I know what torque is.

My friend’s step-dad tricked out a Datsun and–in neutral–the thing suggested climbing a hill.

My friend–he said something about torque.

There’s that hill in Santee and the Datsun did its thing. Gears tightly wound, the yellow car with knocked-out windows inched up a slope with a disengaged gearshift.

Finn walked the perimeter of the park today. He got really mad when the dry-brush got in his way and he yanked at the clinging branches. He walked a full mile.

I looked it up: torque is something about the ‘moment of force.’ I still don’t know what that means.

I swept up Finn and told a helmeted Cayden to stop on yellow, please–the egress ramps where the sidewalk dips next to the picket fences and where the concrete is white.

‘Mind the alleys, Dude.’ Cayde scootered about. Parked when he should’ve.

‘Moment of force.’ Finn was close to falling asleep in his stroller and Cayde asked: ‘What’s ten times two?’before speeding ahead of my answer.

Leaving the park, he picked up a discarded watermelon rind and threw it into the grass.

‘Worms will get that.’He has an understanding of how things work.

At the corner of Thorn and 32nd, just past the DeLuca’s Pizzeria where we agree we haven’t been that much recently, Cayde slowed because there’s another yellow. I had the flap up on the stroller’s canopy and Finn was pushing a hand against the plastic window to meet mine.

“Why, Daddy,” Cayde asked, “Do we sleep a long time but the dreams are short? Why doesn’t sleep feel as long as it is?”

I swear he asked this.

I paused, and not only because the curb was yellow. My kid turned back in my direction with his silly angles and with his helmet askew. Those teeth, adult in a kid-sized head, and that question.

“Let’s keep going. Alley’s clear.”

Finn had purple eyes but stayed awake until we got home and Cayde ditched his scooter on the driveway alongside his helmet. Skulls and crossbones on the helmet, and that strap I can’t ever adjust right.

Oh. ‘Moment of force.’ My dad drove a Datsun and–torque–I now get you.

I changed my hand-hold with Jenn on the way to dinner. Passion hands. That’s what the palm-reader said. I like that, so yes.

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