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GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



Let's do this. I'm in

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GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



Look at you, sport - 1,394 words

Why is he trudging through the snow like that, kicking snow banks onto the sidewalk, stomping it until he hits the grass?

Not content to sniffle a little, he snorts like he’s about to hock the biggest loogie there can be. “It’s the fourth time this week! I should’ve known better than to think every day would be like Monday. How could he forget time and time again? He knows I get off at two thirty!”

He kicks the snow in front of him, his little black boots capable of clearing any path today. “How could he forget to pick up his son? His son!”

Right now he just wants to get home. It’s not far, the trip is only ten minutes, but it’s so cold today that his mom insisted. “I bet he’s drinking. Yeah, that’s what he’s doing. It’s what he does every night, it’s what he does every day. He just sleeps and drinks and watches his dumb movies. Just last night, I was playing with my Legos, right? Well he comes downstairs and tells me to go to bed. It’s only like seven!”

His backpack, filled with scraps of paper from as far back as the beginning of the school year, weighs entirely too much for a middle school boy. He sets it down, who cares if the stuff inside gets wet? It’s all old, anyway, he keeps the important work in his coat pocket. “I hate that I know what he does at night. I hate that I can see the big plastic bottle just sticking out the top of his duffel bag. I hate that I know what he’s going to do with it and I hate that I can’t do anything to stop it.”

Just a few months ago, back when it was still warm out, back when the artificial beach was still open and fish would die from all the toxins in it, back when you couldn’t walk on the beach because it was so filthy and covered in beer bottles and fish bones and condoms, his dad wanted to take him fishing. Yeah, fishing, when he was six his dad would use fishing as an excuse to go out and drink. His dad would just get out of bed and go take a drive or something. Anyway, his dad asked him if he wanted to go fishing. “I told him no, I’m tired, I don’t really want to, sorry. So he drives off, and I start feeling bad. I start thinking maybe I should have gone with him, cause he looked pretty hurt. I mean, we won’t be able to do this every day, you know. I decided right then and there that the moment he comes back I’ll be waiting for him and we’ll go fishing or whatever. He’s back pretty quick, really, and I go to greet him in the garage as he’s pulling in and I see him take a swig out of one of those big plastic bottles. He told me he’d toss it, but I don’t think he did.”

“He’s gonna toss it today, though. I’ll make sure of it.”

Did he forget the code, or are his gloves just too big? Third times a charm, and now the garage door lets him in. His dad’s car is in the garage. That drat car, he heard his mom yelling at dad last night over it.

“You have time to clean that drat car, but you don’t have time to clean the house or find a job? You don’t go anywhere, so why do you even need the car? We should sell it, then we could actually have some money around here. We’re just barely getting by, why don’t you do anything?” Of course his dad’s response was to “go to sleep”.

He can hear some people talking. His dad is probably sleeping in front of the TV downstairs, as he usually is. “His booze is more important to him than me. Is there anything else I could learn from this?”
If he were braver, he would go down and confront his dad right now. Just wake him up, demand he stops. His parents argue with greater frequency every single day. He hates it when they fight, and when they insult each other his face burns up and he can feel tears pushing their way to his eyes.

He has a bad work ethic. He procrastinates his way out of homework, but it doesn’t matter. He already finished math while waiting for his dad, which is the only graded assignment he has. “Mom will be home any minute. Dad will get up, and she’ll ask him what he accomplished. I’ll tell her then, I’ll tell her he didn’t do anything. He even forgot to pick up his own son, leaving him to make his way home in the cold.”

Should he do it after supper or as soon as she gets home? Would it make a difference? He doesn’t think about these things, and just plays his GameBoy.

His mom is pulling into the driveway now, back from a long nine to five job. He’s at the door, hugs her, and his dad is walking up the stairs, wearing beige long johns and a stained white t-shirt. His dad probably didn’t get up all day.

“So what did you get done today, honey?”

“He didn’t do anything, mom! He didn’t even pick me up.” His dad shoots a mean look at him. The truth is going to burst out, isn’t it? That’s his problem, right? Once he starts telling the truth he just can’t stop.

“Yeah, mom, he didn’t do anything. All he does anymore is drink. Look in his duffel bag, mom, he’ll have booze and porn there. I bet that’s all he does, drink and look at porn.” He tries to go downstairs and get the evidence, his dad stops him by grabbing both his shoulders.

“Let go of him, honey!”

“No.” He stinks, he probably started drinking just a few minutes ago, the rear end in a top hat. It’s his fault, isn’t it? His dad just won’t do anything. He starts squirming his way out of his dad’s grip, he’s a flexible kid, if he works hard at it maybe he can break free and just show mom what dad really does.

“Why don’t you do anything? Why do you just sleep downstairs all day and all night? No wonder our daughter is so messed up, no wonder she’s run off, she inherited it from a big nobody like you!”

He squirms and fidgets, and his dad is losing his grip. He might be able to make it, he might be able to make things right.

“I’m trying, alright? Do you think it’s easy being like me? You wouldn’t understand what I go through every day even if you studied it for your entire life! It’s the same way with our daughter, you’re too oppressive and you just scream at us all the time!”

He’s free, he’s running down the stairs, he sees his dad’s bag, he sees the plastic bottle, he grabs the plastic bottle, he runs upstairs, edging his way past his dad, and slams the drat bottle on the table. “This is what he does all day. This is the only thing he does.”

His dad is silent. He just looks at his son, staring at him, giving that same hurt look like the day they didn’t go fishing. His dad just walks out the door to the garage, then after a moment walks back in. His mom stands there with her hands on her hips.

“Where are you going?”

No answer. His dad goes downstairs, his mom stands at the top of the staircase.

“Where are you going?”

His dad carries only his keys, and gently pushes his way past his wife. He walks out the door to the garage, and peels out with his car at a haphazard angle, tearing down the shelves it was next to, sending old terrariums and tackle boxes and repair kits to the ground. Nobody could park there anymore no matter how hard they tried. He drives off, going down the road, going past the horizon, he can’t be seen anymore.

His mom walks out the garage door and tosses him a big broom. “Help me clean this mess up, would you?”

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



I'm in and there's no way you can stop me

GorfZaplen
Jan 20, 2012



GorfZaplen posted:

I'm in and there's no way you can stop me

I was blind in my hubris, and life reminded me to cool my jets. I must resign from this week and hang my head in shame and humiliation.

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