enervate \EN-ur-vayt\, transitive verb: 1. To deprive of vigor, force, or strength; to render feeble; to weaken. 2. To reduce the moral or mental vigor of.
You take the kid to fly kites on the third day of spring, and even in the rain the kid can still be a bit of a smartass.
"Great weather we're having."
"Shut up and help me untangle this."
The walk back sucks because you've never known him to be the talkative type and you've known him for a long time. You don't know whether that makes you an old guy now, but it sure does feel like it when you look down on him.
It's not like you're really looking down on him, though. Sometimes it seems like he's on this pedestal and you're all but craning your head to look into his face.
He doesn't say anything, even when you put him in a headlock and give him the noogie of a lifetime. His hair is soft in your fingers. Artistically rumpled, you could almost call it. If anything's artistic, though, it's those eyes. Killer things, those eyes.
It hurts your neck to look at him straight in the face at this angle; it's a cross between being half bent over and swiveling your neck to look up into that face. You feel kind of dirty about it. You should, you're more than twice his age.
You try not to look at him a lot, then. It's bad for your soul but also pretty damn bad for your back. You're pretty sure Buddha wouldn't approve, but then again the kid's always saying how you have to follow your own path. Right?
Then again, that might not be that healthy either. You've never been the healthy type anyway, after all, you've been sneaking smokes for years and you're supposed to be a good monk and all. Celibacy sucks, but you can live with it. Smoking, however, is life. It's like following Buddha down the long road. Whenever he catches you smoking, the kid kind of gives you that special look he reserves for the Sanzo, when the priest is trying to dodge lessons, like you're retarded or something.
"Smoking's bad for you." Kid's got a cute scowl - it looks like he's bitten into raw onion.
"Thanks, but I'm a big boy now."
You're all but counting his age up and it's depressing to think that you can tally the years up on your hands. You really are getting old, but the look he sends you is even older and would come off better straight from the face of the Master of Apprentices.
You'd offer the smoke to him, but he'd probably take it just to cheek you.
Author's Note: Done for Word A Day sometime in April 2005.