A short story about an adolescent boy and his dad.
My Pop joined the military about twenty minutes after my mom told him she was pregnant. It gave him something to do and someplace to go. As it turned out, what he did is what all of us have done, but with a twist. He sent money back, so mom couldn’t complain too much, but his disappearing act did free her up to be the bitch that she was, and also spared her the ass whooping she so richly deserved. You see, I was born a little too dark, and a little too early to be passed off as Irish, and there hadn’t been anyone in this family with brown eyes since the turn of the century with our Great-Grammy Jolene who had an itch for something dark and forbidden.
If my old lady hadn’t fooled around and drank herself to death I would never have known this man I refer to as Pops. To this day, I don’t know why he chose to pick me up after the funeral. No one would have blamed him if he hadn’t and I couldn’t have turned out much worse than I have.
My life as I knew it would have gone along just peachy if I hadn’t become an adolescent and discovered girls. I should have stuck to the wax-off sessions the team used to have under the bleachers. Life would have been simpler.
Anyway, I was in some kind of adolescent afterglow with my girlfriend of the moment and choked-up as I told her how my Pop came to get me after my mother died. I thought she was going to split her gut. As it was, she laughed so hard she had several after-sex farts coming from places they shouldn’t have been coming. I stared at her. I couldn’t figure out what was so funny or laugh at the strange sounds I was hearing. And being sensitive, as boys are when things start to shrivel down to mini size, I asked her “what gives?”
She blurted out, “How do you know he’s your father? He doesn’t look like you or anything! He could just be some pervert who read about your drunken mom in the obituary column! He may be just waiting for you to ripen up so he can snatch up the only cherry you have left. He could be a child killer.” She said this as she searched around for her clothes.
I froze, and then I smacked her so hard she’s probably still seeing stars ten minutes later. I was so angry; not because she was wrong, but because she was so obviously right. I snatched up my pants, my helmet and my cleats, and I kicked my own ass all the way home.
When my Pop got home, I could barely look at him. While he prepared dinner, I just sat at the table like I was doing my homework. I couldn’t even see the print on the page. He stood there whistling at the stove like he didn’t have a care in the world. He was still wearing his uniform, and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t still perfectly pressed and fitting like glued-on steel. Finally, he asked me how my day went. I told him in excruciating detail how I’d gone to football practice, screwed Patsy pussyless under the bleachers, and found out he wasn’t my father, but more likely a child-molester out to steal my cherry.
In my plans, I was supposed to plunge the meat cleaver into his chest as he turned around to confront me. I’d seen that in a movie once. Instead, I sat there frozen as he laughed until he couldn’t stand up anymore. He didn’t fart though. What was it with people laughing at me today?
Now mind you, I was still a little sensitive, so I jumped up and swung the cleaver. He caught my arm like it belonged to a three-year old invalid and twisted it. The meat cleaver fell to the floor inches from my bare foot. Like the amateur that I was, I looked down to see where it landed and felt, rather than saw him as he circled behind me and said, “lights out, sweet heart!” I swear, he was still laughing as the darkness encircled me. He never did show me that move and I never did broach the subject of who my daddy was again. As I drifted off, I hoped that was what made him laugh, not the other part.
The next morning was a Saturday and I was thankful because I spent the day walking around with my neck slightly twisted to the right and down. Anytime I tried to look to my left, I got such a spasm in my neck that my eyes wobbled. What an idiot I was. If I’d had the sense of a pair of tits I would have known that a man with arms the size of most people’s legs was not to be dicked with. He could’ve killed me and there I was with my fingerprints on the meat cleaver as evidence of my insanity.
The police officers, who were friends of my Pops, would have come over, wagged their tongues at me and threw my carcass in the back of the meat wagon without too much ceremony. Then they would have sat down and had a couple of beers, spit a little on my body in the wagon, and then spent the afternoon reminiscing about the good ole days when there was a little competition around to spice up the day, and not some snotty kid who’s balls hadn’t fallen out of his neck yet.
I was so shook up I spent the rest of the day hiding out. Waking up, as naked as a jaybird, didn’t do too much to settle my stomach. Where in the hell were my clothes? I felt around to my brown eye hoping against all hope everything was still closed the way it should be. Damn, that girl really messed up my head. I wished I’d slapped her harder. Then again, I wished I’d banged her harder. I began to get turned on. Thank God, I was still swinging the right way.
To be continued…