Once, in Houston, we're standing outside our apartment. My mom is smoking a cigarette, sitting on the steps leading up to the 2nd and 3rd floors. My father, my brother Dustin, and I are flanking her. We're in the middle of some low-level argument, probably about money. It's evening, which means in that city a purple haze hovering, omnipresent on the skyline.
Someone has left their tricycle by the foot of the stairs. It's pink and glittery and has shiny silver tassles hanging from the handlebars. It's every tiny princess' self-propelling dream. And it's in my mother's way. She says, "What little bitch left this here?"
"It's mine," Dustin says. He picks it up, tucks it under his arm, begins to walk away. Over his shoulder, in mock-huff: "And I'll thank you not to stare."