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The Give-Away

Dreamed 1982/6/7 by Chris Wayan

THAT DAY

My friend John offers me an internship in his nonprofit project. It's a noble cause, but I'm a bit uneasy about spreading myself that thin...

THAT NIGHT

I'm in my parents' house. I'm still in bed. Early morning; I hear them preparing to go to work. Through the walls, I hear my dad sing a prayer: "May my son be well, though I don't understand him." I feel moved... then suddenly wary about letting myself be moved before I know just what a man who admits he doesn't understand me means by "well."

When I get up, I find out. My parents happily announce they've arranged to give me away, to my aunt's family. "They're in radio, and they plan to apprentice you in this growing, exciting field."

I don't even get into whether they have a right to give me away like a car. Cut to the heart. "Will I get paid?"

"Oh, no, it's such a privilege to get into this exclusive industry!" says my mom.

"You'll get valuable experience for free!" says my dad.

"You're about to get a valuable experience!" I snarl.

And give them one.

NEXT MORNING

ACTION 1: Don't join John's nonprofit just for the experience. The voice inside urging me to do so is parental. I need to get paid!

ACTION 2: Don't trust your parents. This is how they are. And they'll never see it. They want to love you, they fondly think they do... and they'll betray you for your own good every time.



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