We had been associates. Her rejection of conventional parenting left us free to develop our personal dynamics, and through the years I began to relish the rush of going the place we weren’t alleged to, of bringing us proper to that line. Calling her a cougar when her Saturday night time skirts were too brief; nicknaming her Firebush when she dyed her hair red. She would feign indignation, give me a phony this-is-how-you-discuss-to-your-mother? look, after which drop the unnatural severity to come along and be a part of me in the forbidden, hitting me with a strong “oh, f-off.” There’s a spot Human Hair normally reserved for mates, for peers, a state where you’re that different a part of yourself, the one normally hidden from our elders. I guess I wanted her to know it. My foolish approach of displaying her respect, of bringing us closer.