The drum beats in the next room.

Fortunately, I can’t see it from my bed. But I know it’s there. Sitting. Waiting for me to stand. The gap will glare at me like vultures protecting their kill.

Occasionally, I will saunter into the office and make “adjustments.” At bedtime, it will once again be violated. Repositioned in such a grotesque manner that makes my eyes burn. My face gets warm.

Breathe.

I’ll fix it again.

Finally, one Sunday morning, Ewan and I are cleaning the office. He arranges his letters.

In a vain attempt at reason, I try to explain the value of letter space. “You can’t have the A that close to the W. You want optical alignmentRight now it says, ee-wha-in.”

Or Snoopy Ee-Wah-In Giraffe Pencil Sharpener.

He takes a deep breath. “Mommy, I just like it that way.”

Torture.

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