ANP-day Reminders

“The mask is too tight. It presses in against my head. And the lenses are filthy.” I slammed the old gas mask into the trash can.

My mother fished it out immediately and handed it back to me. “You said the same thing last year but you still ended up wearing it. You know we don’t have a lot of money. With both of your dads out of work, we just can’t afford to buy you a new ANP-day mask every year.”

I sighed. “I know but I was hoping that this year would be better. You always tell me it will get better- when is it going to get any better?

She looked at me with such sadness that I suddenly felt ashamed of myself.

Taking a deep breath, I exhaled slowly. “Nevermind, I’ll see if there’s a way to fix it up in the communal shed.”

As I moved by her, she put her hand on the front of my rad-suit. “Remember Israel, that’s what ANP-day is supposed to be about. Without it, Anti-Nucular Proliferation day would never have been. It’s not about the mask you have or what your friends will think. It’s about remembrance.”

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