August 1, 2013 § 12 Comments
I suppose I should have called someone. Child protective services, or the police.
But I just couldn’t be bothered because the orphan gang that came to my house each week for food and liquor seemed self-sustaining.
There were about a dozen of them, somewhere between the ages of three and eleven.
Finally I asked for their stories.
“What happened to your parents?” I asked. “Did they die, or throw you out?”
“No,” said Dorcas, the leader, who rode a Ripstik and had a safety pin through her eyebrow. “We all left. We couldn’t take our parents anymore. We were too embarrassed to be their kids.”
“What did your parents do?”
“They named me Dorcas. After a Shakespeare play. I used to hear them laughing about it at dinner parties, saying it would make me special. After unsuccessfully attempting to slit their throats in their sleep, I packed a bag and left.”
“Our parents named us Suri and Apple,” said two little girls. One of them held a baby. “And this is North. We rescued her last night in a daring raid.”
“How about you?” I asked three toddlers who looked exactly alike.
“Our mother takes up the whole bike path with our three-seater stroller like she owns the entire beach,” one explained. “Also, she changes us in restaurants. We got tired of the dirty looks. Tired of having an entitled asshole for a mother. So we split.”
“My parents enrolled me in a $25,000 a year private school, starting in pre-school,” spoke up a boy. “They had to take out a second mortgage to give me the best education available in the state. And I’m dumb. Dumb as a rock. They could have taken that money and fed it to a pack of berserk goats and it would have gone to better use. I just couldn’t live with parents that stupid.”
A somber faced girl of about five said, “Everything I did, my parents squealed and clapped and said I was adorable. Every shitty picture I drew, they said should be in a museum. I realized I would grow up to be insufferable, and have no character, and live in their basement, and turn thirty-five and draw pictures of crows. I didn’t leave a note when I ran away.”
One child, no more than three, a winsome boy with flowing curls, could only repeat, “Daddy wears Crocs.”
“So wait a second,” I asked the orphan gang. “You weren’t abused? You weren’t neglected? You ran away simply because your parents were…”
“Dipshits,” finished a girl of about six with several competing dimples. “My mother had an active twitter feed and a blog about my potty training called What a Big Girl. That jackass left me no choice. She’s just lucky I didn’t burn the house down on my way out.”
“Anyway,” said Dorcas, lighting a cigarette, “We’ve got to go. The lady down the street mixes us margaritas on Wednesdays.” She took a drag and then passed it to the triplets, who each inhaled in turn and exhaled the same perfect smoke ring.
“You know, Orphan Gang,” I said, “I have to say I admire you somewhat.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the tiniest girls slide out my window clutching two silver candlesticks. “Even though apparently you’ve robbed my house while we’ve been talking. “
Dorcas hopped back on her Ripstik and the others followed. I noticed they had trampled my grass, and stripped my kumquat tree of fruit. I didn’t really care. I liked their style.