I had set my alarm for 6 am. I rolled over in bed and turned it off at 5:59. I get up, go to the bathroom and do my thing. When done, I go to the sink and wash my hands, brush my teeth, drown my face and towel off. I look in the bathroom mirror and find a grey nose hair. I try to pluck it because it’s the manly thing to do but no luck. I grab the scissors from the drawer and slice away.
“I’m getting old!” I tell the mirror.
I examine myself closer in the reflection. My beard has little patches of grey hair, eyes with bags under them, my skin starting to look like my old baseball glove as a child. I run to my wife who is still snoring logs with covers over her head.
“I look like my old man sweetie!” I said.
“That’s nice, go make coffee.” she mummbles.
I get up, walk to the kitchen and start the drug. I look to the sliding glass door that leads to the backyard and my two dogs are doing a dance for me.
“Oh shit, sorry boys.” I tell them.
I started to open the door and they push it open with their nose and sprint to the grass. They lift their legs and look back at me with a loathing glare. I shut the door and giggle. I walk back to the kitchen and the phone rings. I answer it.
“It’s your dad, did you remember?”
“Yes I remembered, I took the day off for this.” I said.
“Are you ready to go?” he asked.
“I thought it wasn’t until 9 am, it’s ony 6:30.”
“I want to stop by at this storage auction first and maybe bid on it.”
“Yeah, sure.” I said
“Ok, I will be there in 20 minutes.”
“Wait!” he screams.
“What is it.”
“My back tooth hurts.” he says whining.
“You know what it feels like?” my dad asks.
Oh boy, here we go. I thought.
“No, what dad.”
“It feels like someone is putting a chisel on it and then hitting it with a hammer.”
“Yes dad, that would hurt. See you in 20 minutes.” I said while yawning.
“You know your mother can’t drive, that’s why I asked you.”
“I know dad, we’ve been over this, that’s why I took the day off remember?” I explained.
“Oh yeah, ok, 20 minutes, bye.”
My dad is 5’8″ around 200 pounds (depending on what he ate the night before) with a worn out blue sweat stained baseball cap, coke bottle glasses grey mustache, your typical blue jeans and a red short sleeved collared shirt. He has glaucoma and needed to go to the eye doctor that today. They put certain eye drops in and at times it blurs his vision to where he can’t drive. That’s where I come in to assist.
I pour a cup of coffee for my wife and bring it to her in bed.
“Here you go.” I said.
“Did you put milk in it?” she asked.
“But it’s expensive coffee; you won’t be able to taste it. If you want a glass of milk I’ll get you it.” I said.
“MILK IN COFFEE!” my wife demands.
I get her the milk.
“I don’t get it but here you go.”
“Thank you” she whispers with her eyes half shut.
“My dad wants to go to a storage auction first.” I told my wife.
“Oh geez, you better hide in the crowd when you get there.” she says as she sips her light brown diluted beverage.
“Way ahead of you.” I said.
There’s a knock on the door. The dogs go unhinged. They’re jumping on the door as I try to open it.
“GET! I yelled Hey dad.”
He walks in and one dog leaps on him licking his face while the other has his snout up my dad’s ass.
“GOD DAMNED DOGS! GET THEM OFF OF ME! I HATE DOGS, ZERO USE FOR THEM!” he shouts.
I put the dogs out back.
“You have two dogs at home dad.” I tell him.
“AND I HAVE ZERO USE FOR THEM TOO!” he says.
My wife goes to the couch and turns on the news with a bowl of grapes My dad spots the grapes.
“Hey are you going to eat those?”
Before anyone can answer, he has a mouthful of grapes.
“Ummmm, those are good, I love grapes.”
My wife starts to yell at the TV, something about the ex president.
“Oh, they should just shoot him.” she said jokingly.
“Oh no…watch what you say…you can go to jail for saying stuff like that.” my dad said seriously. “Boy, those grapes are good.”
My wife looks at me and I look at my wife.
“Let’s go, times a wasting.” he says aggressively.
I grab my poetry reading to pass the time while I wait in the doctor’s office.
“Whats that?” my dad says with a puzzled look on his face.
“It’s called a book dad.”
“I HATE READING BOOKS, THERE’S TOO MANY WORDS IN THEM!”
“Well, that could be a problem then dad.”
I kiss my wife goodbye and out the front door we go.We get in his car. His car is a green (green at one time) 97′ Buick Le Sabre with the paint chipping off and bird shit all over the windshield. We get in and he looks out his window.
“You better trim that Mesquite tree or it’s going to fall.” he says while putting on chapstick.
“Yeah, I will do that soon.” I replied.
We drive to the end of my street and want to turn left but there is no signal.
“Oh God! There are so many cars! Don’t these people work! Why don’t they just go home!” my dad pouts.
We finally turn left and a mile or so down the road we hit a signal. My dad revs his engine 4 or 5 times.
“My car is idling too low.” he says.
I look to my right and there is a guy in a monster truck staring at me smiling and then proceeds to rev his engine. My dad leans up against me with a squint to catch a better glance, kind of a who farted look on his face.
“Oh this guy wants to race huh!’
“Dad no!” I yelled.
“OK PENISBREATH, LET’S GO, LET’S GO!” he screams out the window.
My dad continues to rev his engine. The light turns green. Monster truck guy starts peeling out and takes off flying down the road and my dad just sits there and laughs.
“What an idiot.” he says.
“Dad, why do you do shit like that?” I asked.
“I’m bored son. Retirement isn’t all what it’s cracked up tp be.” he replied.
We get to the storage auction and it’s mainly a bunch of old, bored, retired men looking for a fix, a high, a jump start. A reason to get out of the house and move their legs around a bit. The auction was pointless. My dad knew everyone there. It was more a social gathering. Nobody was biding and everyone was talking about their grandkids or their golf game or what they were going to have for lunch while they licked their lips in fantasy land. We get back in the car and drive towards the eye doctor.
“Dad, why don’t you stop at the gas station and clean off the bird shit on your windshield?” I said.
“What bird shit. I don’t see anything.”
“Really? Maybe I should drive.” I said.
“Hell no, I can see.”
We get to the eye doctor, check in, sit and wait. I open up my book and start to read. My dad leans in and squints.
“How can you read poetry?”
“Well, it’s really a journal of this guy’s life more than poetry but that’s what they call it.” I said.
“Harry!” the assistant yelled.
“Hey, that’s me. I’ll be back.” dad said.
“Oh, I’ll be counting the seconds!” I said jokingly.
After about 20 minutes, I put the book down and start to people watch. A man no younger than 80 walks out with a patch on his eye shuffling his feet. An old woman screaming at the receptionist about how she can’t have her cataracts surgery on Wednesday because that’s bingo day. My generation is next. I thought. Nobody wants to work but retirement means your old. To lose your memory or your teeth, sight, hearing, or heaven forbid wear a diaper. My dad walks out, shakes the doctor’s hand, makes a joke and we’re out of there. We walk to the car and my dad laughs and says.
“When your mother and I die we have nothing for you except our bills.”
“Oh bitchin, thanks, give me the keys.” I said.
“No need. They didn’t put drops in, everything was fine.” he said.
On the way back to my place he asks me if I could water their plants while they go on vacation and of course I said yes. Then he dropped the big one on me.
“I need for you to give me an enema.”
“What!” I shouted.
“Your mother won’t do it and my back hurts too much, besides, I think my arms are too short.”
“JESUS CHRIST! ARE YOU CRAZY?”
“Come on, it’s a chance for you to get back at me for all the times I was an asshole to you when you were a kid.”
I laughed loud then paused. He’s got a point. I thought.
“No thank you, I don’t need nightmares of your puckering asshole for years to come. Mom married you so that’s her job.”
“I know. he said laughing. She’s going to do it. I just wanted to see if you would say yes that’s all.”
We get to my houde and I get out. I go around to the drivers’ side and say.
“Let’s go golfing when you get back from vacation.”
“Ok, I’d like that.”
I walk toward the front door and he peels out for a good laugh. I don’t look back.
“Love you too dad.”