My dad called.
A stared at the phone, watching it ring without thought.
Talking to him freaks me out, even though he’s the kindest man I know.
He’s never said so, I can’t help but think that he thinks of me as a bum. No car, shitty retail job, little ambition. He actually doesn’t know shit about me. I work hard at my shitty retail job. I put my heart into helping people be aesthetically pleasing (as vain as that is) and on a good day, it’s incredibly rewarding.
I got the balls to call my dad back.
We don’t have a thing in common, which leads to my father’s steady rhythm of “well uh”s. I ask about his truck. He talks for 45 minutes and realize how relaxing it actually is. There I was, laying on my bedroom floor, listening to him gab, like I did as a kid on his living room floor while he chatted with a buddy.
In my head, my dad looks like a fit 35-year old who climbs telephone poles for fun and probably has toddlers at home.
When I occasionally see him these days (two or three times a year), I’m always taken aback by how he has changed. He could pass as a grandfather. Well, he is a grandfather, of nine to be exact.
His baby is turning 21 soon. I’m sure that scares the hell out of him, considering his past battle with the bottle. What he doesn’t realize is that I’ve been casually drinking for 6 years, and not a thing will change.
I’ve been wreckless, sure, but not lately. At 15, I stole vodka from the store, put it in Jones Soda bottles, and lined them up on my bedroom windowsill. My mother always mentioned how pretty those bottles of water looked in the sunlight. What a fool she was.
I respect my mom quite a lot more now than I used to. I told her about my vodka bottles, and she just laughed, joked about how they would have drank them, had she known. She’s not much of a parent, but she’s a fantastic friend and openly recognizes me as an adult, unlike my father.