Sugar Magnolia Wilson

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Home Alone 2 (with you)

Christmas time and we've been out all night.
You've been talking shit no one understands,
the way you do when you're drunk – and
because English is your second language
people can't be sure if you're super-smart
and talking over their heads or if
you're actually just free-styling your own
version of the exquisite corpse.
I think it's the funniest thing ever.
Finally we make it home, settle our tired selves
on the hot mat and turn on the TV.
It's Home Alone 2.
I'm all upbeat and hyped and
doing little air-punching movements
‘cause we're in love and you're so foreignly
hot and Home Alone 2 is on and
there is nothing better I could imagine
watching right now.
Kevin McCallister is already going through
the character-forming section
of his trials and tribulations by the time
we tune in – his blonde locks lapping like
pure shine around his pink exclamation-
marked face.
You're rocking around the room doing things
that you do – putting on house shorts and
a singlet, rolling around on the mat, talking
to yourself.
The baddies are really just a device to help
Kevin and his family realise how much they
mean to one another, I say. His absence
is what hurts but matters the most.
It's a coming of age story.
It's a love story.
The movie goes on and I get really involved –
I forget you're there.
Kevin is over it. He's lonely to the point of
despair. He misses his mother. He goes to
the Rockefeller Christmas tree and prays for
only one thing, to see her again. And then there
she is, calling his name.
And this is when my heart finally knows
what my mind has for years – that I won't
ever find a tree laced bright enough with
festive lights to guide my own mother through
dark city streets. There are no streets that
connect our separate worlds.
And I turn around and realise you've been
watching me the whole time – and even
though neither of us has spoken and I've
not started to cry yet you say really quietly
Mags, do you miss your mother?
And I am so startled, and so shockingly sad that
I cry in front of you for the first time. I cry
on you for what seems hours and
your white top feels like the fabric of some cradle
and for a while you let me be a kid again, a kid who
got lost and can't seem to find her mother anywhere,
no matter how hard she looks.

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