We have been associates. Her rejection of traditional parenting left us free to develop our own dynamics, and over the years I began to relish the rush of going where we weren supposed to, of bringing us right to that line. Calling her a cougar when her Saturday night skirts have been too brief; nicknaming her Firebush when she dyed her hair red. She would feign indignation, give me a phony this-is-how-you-talk-to-your-mom? look, after which drop the unnatural severity to come back alongside and join me within the forbidden, hitting me with a stable h, f-off.There may be a place usually reserved for friends, for friends, a state the place you might be that different a part of yourself, the one normally hidden from our elders. I assume I needed her to understand it. My silly means of showing her respect, of bringing us closer.