The All or Nothing Days
By Gus Moreno
Sometimes Ya-Ya would lie on the ground and look up at the sky, and in between sips from her mason jar she would point to clouds and call them out. That one looked like a shark, that one looked like a gun, that one looked like Donkey Kong. And I would always ruin it with my questions. What’s a shark? What’s a gun? What’s a Donkey Kong?
She would roll over and that meant she was over it. She grew impatient with me and with herself, with slipping and mentioning something that was before my time, and having to explain it to me, something that was so simple and obvious to her that she was reduced to stuttering because she couldn’t figure out how to explain what a computer was without me asking what plastic was, what an internet was. She’d rather talk about other stuff, like pyramids. She didn’t mind explaining to me their shape and precision, how no one knew how they were made. I imagined a mountain with flat sides, with the point of a knife at the top, when both of us laid in the red dirt after the sun fell and the stars covered the sky. She said pyramids generated their own energy. You could run a whole city off their magnetic power. They were beacons to lifeforms on other planets. They were built by a kind of human that was different than us. But the planet froze over and killed off this special strain, and the humans we descended from were the cowardly, spindly ones that knew how to hide and steal and survive.