idyllically calm and peaceful; suggesting happy tranquility
Sometimes I look way back to six months ago, during the
halcyon days of junior year.
an event indicating important things to come
As a leading indicator, a bellwether,
augury, harbinger, and many other words from the now-useless PSAT vocabulary study guide, a score of 1500 would mean I would probably kick the real SAT’s ass high enough to gain the attention of The Harvard, which is the Number One Top School in Whole of United States, according to Mom-n-Dad.
something indicating the approach of something or someone
As a leading indicator, a bellwether, augury,
harbinger, and many other words from the now-useless PSAT vocabulary study guide, a score of 1500 would mean I would probably kick the real SAT’s ass high enough to gain the attention of The Harvard, which is the Number One Top School in Whole of United States, according to Mom-n-Dad.
Berklee is my real dream school. But Mom-n-Dad have already
nixed that notion. Music? How you making money? How you eating?
an assembly to conduct judicial business
This is how disownment happens. It’s not like some final sentence declared during some family
tribunal. Disownment is a gradual kind of neglect.
not direct, explicit, or straightforward
The only time and place we even
obliquely approach the subject of girl is when we happen to find ourselves sitting on the shore of Lake Girlfriend.
a chord whose notes are played in rapid succession
Above, nameless jazz infuses the cavernous faceted space with echoey
expel from a community or group
I think it comes from not knowing which would be worse: dating a girl my parents hated or dating a girl my parents loved. Being
ostracized or being micromanaged.
end, especially to reach a final or climactic stage
Mom-n-Dad inherited The Store from an older Korean couple of that first wave who came over in the sixties. No written contracts or anything. Just an introduction from a good friend, then tea, then dinners, and finally many deep bows,
culminating in warm, two-handed handshakes.
swindle; obtain by coercion
I hope the next version of the American dream doesn’t involve
gouging people for food stamps.
a maneuver in a game or conversation
Mom’s home resting from her morning shift, leaving me and Dad alone for his turn. I suspect all this is Mom’s
ploy to get me to bond with Dad in my last year before I head off to college.
having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value
Meanwhile, the Koreans in Korea have moved on, become more
affluent, more savvy.
necessary for relief or supply
“You can’t 3D-print ABS or polycarbonate. At least I can’t. I don’t have the
relating to an array of the components of an emission
We fall into an old habit: building a four-by-four tower with the colors ascending in
spectral ROYGBIV order.
following or accompanying as a consequence
We’re all sober kids, all in the same Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and therefore do not get invited to parties and their
concomitant opportunities to imbibe.
take in liquids
We’re all sober kids, all in the same Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and therefore do not get invited to parties and their concomitant opportunities to
a small illustrative sketch
Dad laughs, steadying his to-go drink from hell, and for a second I can imagine them before they had me and Hanna. It’s a paradoxically sweet
large in number or quantity
For a second I think the issue has been successfully forced,
copious science has been dropped, minds have been quietly blown, we are all one human race, this is the United States of America, I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted.
raise in rank, character, or status
For a second I think the issue has been successfully forced, copious science has been dropped, minds have been quietly blown, we are all one human race, this is the United States of America, I have a dream that one day every valley shall be
Someone said it must have something to do with a bunch of round-eye American soldiers saving them from civil war, which led to a close examination of the size of General MacArthur’s eyes, which pivoted to theories about big-eyed characters in Japanese anime, which
devolved into a big Lego-throwing debate about which was better, Japanese manga or Korean manhwa.
a performance using gestures and movements without words
I naturally mistake the fist bump for a high five, and the whole thing becomes this strange gearshift
pantomime: the awkward greeting ritual of male nerds everywhere.
difficult or impossible to understand
I have no idea how anything works. I have no idea what is happening. I stare back into her eternal ancient gray eyes looking all ancient and gray and eternal into mine and find that they are also
a quantity that has magnitude and direction
I find Q waiting for me by the elephant tree: this big melted biomass of spiny leaves and branches oozing its way out of a rectangle in the concrete. Apparently it’s not a tree, but a giant yucca evolving along its own isolated
someone who fights for a cause
Q’s already got his miniature hero figurines—a tiny wizard, elf, and
paladin—standing in delta formation on a lunch table.
It no longer feels quite like I’m here with Brit and Joy’s here with Wu. Right now it’s feeling strangely like I’m here with Joy, and we’ve each brought our
respective problems along.
bored or apathetic after experiencing too much of something
My phone buzzes. I always keep it on vibrate—Q and I find ringtones depressing and believe they are forlorn cries for validation in a noisy,
give a false appearance of
Q’s dad simply sits and chews and
feigns obliviousness. He excels at being king of the dorks; he is proudly aware of this particular genius of his.
a person who is tiny or diminutive
I’m watching a little
homunculus run around a 2D landscape from a God-view perspective.
a molding between the ceiling and the top of a wall
A tiny projector sits on a faux-marble
cornice and throws the giant view of the game onto a blank wall that Q has painted with some kind of special projector screen paint for maximum image quality.
someone who intrudes on the privacy or property of another
“Also, since you’re the
interloper here, shouldn’t you be considered the alien, not them?”
heedful of potential consequences
I tap a cigarette from an open box under the counter and slide it over all sneaky-style. Luis feigns an itch and
discreetly tucks it behind his ear.
conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
Our budding relationship can’t just be a
clandestine series of greenhouses and minivans.
a body of troops in close array
He repeats the last part to a
phalanx of glass Guadalupe candles.
an alloy used when melted to join two metal surfaces
An entire wall is pegboard, holding coils of cable and
solder and wire and tools.
impose, involve, or imply as a necessary result
“I just don’t really know what it
entails. Or care. Because it’s so totally and completely boring.”
relating to necessary details of operation
logistically it makes life so much easier,” says Joy.
artificial and inferior
I’ve held her hand plenty of times in the past: during thumb wrestling,
ersatz seances with the other kids during Halloween, or interminable prayer circles before holiday feasts.
naturally having skin of a dark color
He escorts us over to the kids’ table and hustles out chairs for us, like a
swarthy maître d’ from Middle Earth, and we sit.
lacking interest or significance or impact
Then someone—Mrs. Song, fiddling with her giant Korea-only phone/tablet thing—abruptly puts on an adult contemporary rock song: some
insipid string of croony cliches.
serving to set in motion
Me and Joy execute the fatal finishing move of tonight’s smashing
inaugural test run.