My parents should have had an inflatable daughter -
not me -
inflatable, with a few automaton qualities, maybe -
so that she could have been programmed to make
certain appropriate noises,
at certain appropriate moments.
They could have stored her, flat-packed,
in a cupboard, when she wasn't needed.
And my friends could have had
an inflatable friend,
who would be there as long as they wanted her,
but wouldn't protest, or feel hurt, or be "awkward",
when they let her down.