When I say Loving me is kind of like Loving an Old Car….

After Hanif Abdurraqib….

When I say loving me is kind of like loving an old car, I mean when my father first saw me, he sang My Girl into my eyes.

I mean he named me after the most beautiful women he’d known and neither of them were my mother.

I mean I have red hair and I love facing the wind to feel it blow behind me.
And I’ll sing My Heart Will Go On, while I do [like a tape on repeat], skipping all but the same two lines.

I will do that in front of your fan in the summer too: when the blistering heat leaves me prone to breaking down.

And you’ll call me grumpy when I don’t want to face the Australian sun; then laugh at my protest, cross-legged on the floor.
And I’ll smile at you through my grumpiness.
Face the heat anyway.
As one must….


Then, when I finally learn that red hair moves through the wind faster than any colour, I’ll make an effort to learn all the lyrics to Celine Dion.

My father must have sung My Girl into my eyes, knowing I’d grow to be “woman” one day.
And he named me after my grandmothers; knowing I’d grow to be strong.

Mia Boonen

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