The first and last word

One of the old farts who hangs out at the Hubbards Save-Easy shook his head disapprovingly as Evan and I hopped towards the grocery carts one sunny afternoon.

“What is she, a little girl?” he grumbled as we approached.

“Actually, yes,” I replied, in my dreams. “Isn’t she the most adorable little butch you’ve ever seen? I’m training her to be the most famous drag king performer on the south shore. We’re going to be rich.”

Kids are public domain (so says Joe Public). That’s why—even when Evan is wearing his ‘YES INDEED, I HAVE A JIGGER’ t-shirt—passerby insist on making roundabout comment on his lack of crewcut by pretending to question his gender.

Even his closest fans seem perturbed. His grandfather mutters "sneak" and "barber" under his breath conspiratorially, and his great-grandmother remains in a constant state of incredulity when it comes to all matters of personal grooming.

Friend: Have you ever cut it?
Me: Sure, tons of times.
Friend: In the back?
Me: Sure. It just grows really fast.
Friend: Really?
Me: Uhh.. yes.

Following is an itemized list of all the definitive explanations for Evan’s appearance, arranged in order of statistical relevance and qualitative importance:

1) Because I Like Him That Way.

Hello. My Name is Kate, and I am Very Picky Particular in all matters aesthetic. There. I admit it. Evan will never be Beaver Cleaverized, fashioned into a miniature businessman circa 1952. Not to knock the croppers in our ranks—to each his mother’s own. But is a flat top in our near future? Not unless I run out of scouring pads and need to improvise with my kid’s head.

I’m of the shaggy persuasion. That’s all. I can’t explain why I like it that way. It has to stick out the back of his hat. It just does, or it’s not Evan.

The next person who asks if he’s a girl is getting the truest answer I can give on his behalf: Hey, hey. He’s a Monkee.

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