Parker fell in love with me one afternoon after we’d watched a rerun of Laverne & Shirley.

He’d felt particularly amorous and experimental, which for him meant he wanted us to sit outside on the front porch and drink milk mixed with Pepsi shared from one straw. It turns out I was sick with the flu, so he mixed milk and orange juice instead — the kind with big pieces of pulp.

Parker was my second cousin, and this was his third chance to get it right. He and I didn’t make it, of course, but not cause we’re related. But because once you’ve been a nobody, being a creature is all that’s left to become.