My dad always had a way to stop something else.
When I broke my ankle, he asked if I wanted him to bite my finger.
I said no, but he insisted it would take my mind off the pain in my ankle if he bit my finger off. I knew he was joking, but it scared a part of me he would do it if I even gave him the thought I would say yes. I was complaining about all the homework I had to do, and dad asked what was wrong. I told him math was a headache. He said not doing my math wouldn’t be so bad if I got shorted on my pay, and I didn’t know it happened. Of course, learning math could get me closer to being a millionaire instead of a street person. I wasn’t sure this made sense, but he was proud of his analogy. Last week, our furnace died. It was so cold in the house that I was walking stiffly. Dad told me to ignore the cold, and I’d be warmer. I had every intention of ignoring the cold that came from the furnace not working. I had a small space heater in my bedroom, and I was going to stay in my bedroom with the space heater until the HVAC technician arrived. Mom laughed when she asked if I was okay and I told her I had the space heater grandma had given me for Christmas. What started out as an inside joke between grandma and I, became the only way to keep warm in the house until the HVAC technician arrived.