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Genghis Whenever we were bad my mother used to take us to the mall to see Genghis Kahn. They kept him in a dusty diorama of a Mongolian steppe, all tall grass and yurts. He sat on a throne of bone (well, plastic shaped like bone), scowling in incomprehension at the American kids who flocked around him like startled lemmings. My mother would usually push us toward him, saying things like “Tell him what you did to your father’s stamp collection.” Genghis would give a grunt, spit a wad of phlegm onto the tall grass, and give us a wizened, wrinkled grimace, as if he had to go to the bathroom.
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He terrified me.
My brother couldn’t get enough of him.
When my brother got caught in my mother’s evening dress, my mother grabbed us both and dragged us to Genghis. It was a slow day, and we were the only kids crowding him. “Tell him what you did,” my mother hissed a
Moving On“No.” It was all I could say, taking in the carnage of what had just last night been my pristine kitchen. I wanted to collapse onto a chair, but they – and our spacious table – were covered in miscellany. Cleaning supplies, random knick-knacks from the living room, a thermometer, a scale. It was all there, strewn about.
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My legs were shaking, and I fought the urge to cry. So messy. So dirty. No, no, no. I collapsed onto the shoe bench in between the Franco Sarto and the Gucci. I don't know where Giesswein had gone. I wished I could blame it on burglars, but no.
“She's doing it again!” I called, and my husband came running into the kitchen. We watched his mother rearrange my cabinets, turning tea-cup handles to the left instead of the right. My hands twitched.
“Ma, stop it!” he said, exasperation coloring his voice. “Put these things back, they were fine where they were!”
"No," she said, her voice heavily-accented. "I will take