The sentences come fast.
The enthusiasm is distracting.
So is the beauty. The girl is so gorgeous it's ridiculous. She's like this crazy mix of Charles and - I don't know - Hayden Panettiere.
Anyway, tonight when I got home from work, Kate and I curled up on the sofa and watched Castle on the DVR. About halfway through, she told me to pause it so she could show me the book she bought at the book fair today. She read the back cover to me. A girl who is a runner loses one of her legs and has to adjust to life with a prosthetic limb. She becomes friends with someone who has cereb-
"How do you say that? Cerebral palsy? What's that?"
"You know the son on Breaking Bad? Have you seen him? He uses the crutches to help him walk?"
"Oh yeah. Ok."
Then she continues - deep breath -
"You know what's weird? Some of my friends from this year and last year don't know that Daddy is dead. They just don't know. My friend Emily didn't know. Her mom was driving us somewhere the other weekend and she asked me what my dad did for a living and I said, 'Oh, he's dead. But he used to be a plumber.' And they said-"
Kate nods her head slowly, "They said, 'Cool. That's cool.'"
"Oh yeah, cause dead dads are the awesome-est," I said, sardonically, laughing.
Kate giggled uncontrollably. "No, no, they meant the plumber part. That's cool. You know what Dad would have loved? Breaking Bad. Dad would have loved watching Breaking Bad with you and Jacob. You know what else Dad would have loved? The Walking Dead! He would have woken up early in the morning and said, 'Come on, wake up, let's watch The Walking Dead!' He would have loved it! I bet he would have let me miss a whole day of school just to watch a Walking Dead marathon. What else would Dad have loved? He would have liked Castle."
"Yes," I said. "He would have loved all of that. Oh my gosh, he would have loved Breaking Bad."
"Yeah," Kate said.
"You know who's just like he was in the morning? Wide awake and excited?"
"Who?" she said.
"You. You're just like him in the morning."
And Kate laughed some more. "I am. I'm like that."
Then she told me how she and her old boyfriend broke up. I said, "Oh honey, I'm sorry. Boys are such a pain." And she said, "That's OK." And then she told me that she has a new boyfriend. She told me his name and how he asked her to "go out with him" outside one of their classes today.
Then she said, "You can un-pause it now."
So I did.
And that is how it goes.
And here is what I know:
Being a plumber is cool.
Kate's dad would have loved Breaking Bad.
This is how you do it. This is how you keep a man alive for his children.
And this is why it feels so weird when you meet new people and they don't know the thing about you that sometimes feels like the thing that defines you.
And Kate is awesome.
That is what I know.