By Kathy

Sometimes, I think about how different our childhoods were - Sandburg and me.

I've heard the stories, traveling all over the world, exposed to new cultures, children of the Earth and all that crap. I suppose it was an all right way to grow up. Sandburg certainly turned out okay. Weird, but okay.

Then I think of my childhood. Privileged lifestyle, the best schools, the 'right' friends, country club membership, a room full of toys. Everything a kid could want. I like to think that I turned out all right. I like to think I'm a decent kind of guy anyway.

You'd think that we wouldn't get along. That our differences would be too great. When I was a kid, my dad would never have let me hang around someone like Sandburg. And from what I've heard, Naomi would've never exposed her kid to the likes of the Ellisons. We were too rich, too arrogant, too too full of ourselves, I suppose.

But somehow, Sandburg and I have bridged that gap. Managed to overcome those differences and form a solid friendship.

I think I finally realized why one Sunday afternoon a little while after he moved into the loft.

Now, Sandburg's always said that growing up without a father - not even knowing the guy's name - doesn't bother him all that much. At first, I believed him. Until that Sunday, that is.

It was a commercial. Some piece of contrived advertising to get people to buy cards. It ended with a boy and a man - supposedly father and son.

Sandburg got up and went to his room. Without a word.

But he didn't need to say anything. I knew.

I felt the same thing every time I saw commercials like that - except for me, it's the ones with a son and his mother.

See, despite how different our childhoods were, there was one common thing about them. One common element that no one would have suspected of mine, but something they would have only too readily suspected of Sandburg's.

We were both deprived.

Him of his father. Me of my mother.


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