peeing in the corner.


when i went to take out the trash, i saw one of the mexican workers hanging out by our garbage cans. i was going to say hello, but he turned his back to me, and then i realized he was taking a piss in the corner of our backyard. i thought maybe i should offer him the use of our toilet, but it's not like he would stop the flow, zip up, and follow me into the house. i just let him pee. it was the noble thing to do.

i asked my dad if we could jam in the garage. he said, yeah, that's fine. so the rich bitch came over, and we took about twenty minutes setting everything up. we played two songs, and it was all over. my dad opened the door. "can you guys turn it down?" he asked. "we're playing at a regular volume," i said. "it's kind of loud," he said, "i was outside and i could already hear it." he seemed embarrassed to be telling us that it was too loud, as his face was red. maybe he was silently angry, i don't know. i told him we'd stop playing. so i turned off the amp, and put all the cords away.

my dad appeared in the doorway again. "you guys should be wearing earplugs when you play," he said. this was what really got to me. i didn't mind him telling us to stop playing, that we were being too loud, but i always, always hate it when he tells me to take these little precautionary measures. "don't stay up too late." "don't drive over 70." "wear your hood in the rain." i know he means well, but i'm forced to play the cliched boy looking to grow up overnight, and i can't play this role if he keeps giving me mini-lectures on what i should or shouldn't be doing.

it was much, much worse in high school. often times, if i was sleeping in too late on the weekend, or on a summer day, he would literally pound on my door. "wake up!" he would say, as if we had something planned. even then, i could only think, what's the point of waking up? to sit with you and watch the fucking tv? to mow the stupid lawn that's just going to grow long again next week? to get dressed and go to church where we can worship a god that may or may not exist? just let me get some goddamn sleep.

of course i feel guilty. i'm too hard on the guy. i don't think he ever wanted to be a dad. i asked my mom if he was ready to have kids when he was 27. she said she didn't think he felt ready. he told her that he didn't have a steady job, and that he seemed kind of ambivalent about the whole thing. but he went and had me anyway. maybe he was facing the same "quarter-life" crisis i'm facing now. but god help me, god help us all, if i reproduce any time soon, if at all.

i don't think i've ever met a successful father. after the kid grows up, he ceases being a father, and instead becomes some dude that sits in the corner. some dude who doesn't talk, not at family functions, not at anything, ever. i can't help but think that they have moments where they look at the ones they love, they look at everything around them, and wonder, i gave it all up for this? i sacrificed for this? i still had things i wanted to do. maybe i'm projecting these things onto them. maybe i don't know what the hell i'm talking about.

how could i, though, when they never fucking talk?

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