I should have ordered a nonfat decaf latte. But here I sit drinking a large whole-milk triple-shot mocha with extra whipped cream, savoring the sweet taste of defiance, basking in the warmth of the carcinogenic sun. A few feet away a small boy is storming the walls of a castle, cleverly disguised as a bench. He runs at it again and again with squeals of delight, punctuated by the occasional protests of his mother telling him to behave. He ignores her. I drink my mocha. The boy is winning the battle. The voice of authority is no match for his exuberance, not today. But on another day years ago, another boy was storming a similar castle when the battering rams of admonition finally breached the walls of his young mind. Despite the loss he fights on to this day, though the struggle is now contained inside the walls. And at some point, running became exercise, squealing became childish, and the simple act of deciding what to drink became a proxy battle in a cold war between submission and rebellion.
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