Excerpt #23 - Father's Day

Last night could’ve been bad. Real bad. But it wasn’t. It was only kinda bad. I suppose that’s how most nights go when you’re where you’re not supposed to be. This night was no different. Not different at all. It could have been the last night.

For weeks, I was getting dropped off by a different car, a different person. Whomever. Or whoever. Or whatever. I didn’t care. I couldn’t drive, and it wasn’t my fault. My car was impounded and, though I had the money, I had some other things to spend it on. Or is it, on which to spend it? Whatever. Who cares. Whom. Who. Whatever. It was hundreds of dollars to get it out of the impound. No way Jose. I’d just hitch a ride from here on out. I didn’t need that car no way no how. Too much hassle. Too much worry.

But really, I can’t talk too much about what happened, cause, you know, the right of incrimination and all that shit. They say I have a big mouth. But what should I have? A small mouth? Or a normal sized mouth? What is that if not a fine line, but I’ve always been good at the fine line. Like that dude who stretched the tight rope between the World Trade Centers back in the day. Philippe Petit was his name. Now that is my kinda guy. They made a movie about it. The Walk they called it. Who is they anyway? A bunch of people who do the shit you don’t know who does it, that’s who.

There’s a time and a place to talk, I know that much. Do you know what I’m say’in? I learned that growing up, you know, children seen not heard, that kinda thing? That’s what they always said to me. I learned real quick in that mad house, less is more. Silence is golden. Don’t rock the boat. Don’t fix what’s not broken. Don’t break what’s been fixed. Watch your step. All that stuff. You know what I’m talk’in ‘bout. The less they know, the less you got to explain. And if anyone tells you different, well, they’re lying to you, and they just want you to talk more so they can get an indictment, or whatever. First degree. Second degree. Third degree. You know? Third degree is good when it comes to crimes and burns. Well, maybe not good, but best of a bad situation. It’s what they call mitigation. And why do I always seem to be mitigating?

Yeah, you know, the whole world’s a prison and we’re all the fucking inmates. For my part, I’ll take a walk on part in the war, rather than the lead role in a cage. That’s why I don’t really care ‘bout being locked up. I been locked up before, since the day when I crossed the threshold from wherever I came from and until I cross it to wherever the fuck I’m going. Don’t really know, don’t really care. Don’t know where I’m going and don’t know just where I been. Isn’t that how the song goes? Or how it should go? Don’t know where I’m a go’in, don’t know just where I been, but one thing I do know, babe, is where I don’t wanna go.

But I really can’t talk too much about what happened, you see, cause, you know, the right of incrimination, like I said.

So that’s where it ends. I ain’t no songwriter, but, if I were, I’d say something like, ‘you know, babe, that’s why I love you.”

But what’s love anyway, but fingers slammed in the door

Since we’re on the subject, let me tell you about my old man. John Richards was his name. You ever hear of him? Google him up. You’ll see. Biggest coke dealer in the Midwest, and beyond. Well, I haven’t seen him from the age of 5, and then again when I was 20 years old. Until my first wife, who meant well, contacted his ass to arrange for a meeting for Father’s Day. So he shows up in his limousine, fur coat draped over his shoulders, down to the ground. He earned every penny. Moved more product than anyone back in the day. And there he was, on my front porch. I’m in my work clothes, busting my ass. Two jobs. 20 hours a day, living in a trailer with my pregnant 19 year old wife. And here he is on my porch, looking like a million bucks. Hands me some cashola. Says nice to see ya, and then walks back to his limo to three beautiful women waiting for him, gets in and drives off into the darkness.

I’m standing there on that porch, and, you know what? You know what I felt? You know what I thought? Would would you think and feel? A failure I felt. Cause, believe it or not, I felt like I let him down by not becoming him. Maybe it was biological. Anything biological is usually inhumane, for some reason, like our morality clashes with our physical and chemical existence, and that desire to become your father is so strong, it leads us into the jungle. And the jungle was where I was go’in. I was gonna make my daddy more than proud. I was gonna best his ass. So I did as any good boy would do, and I assumed his vocation.


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Excerpts For The Pandemic
by M. Christian Rossman
©publishing313, Inc. 2020