I didn’t care if it was overcast. I went to the pool while wife went shopping. Like most men, I’d rather have all my teeth pulled than wander around a mall looking for doo-dads and gee-gaws.
Laying on the lounge, on the edge of consciousness, I listened to the conversations around me. The disembodied voices seem like they came from a great distance away.
“I like baked chicken a lot better than fried.”
“Johnny, quit licking the fence!”
“We went to Fourth Street Live last night and this is all I felt like doing today.”
“She’s been having so many troubles lately, with the break-up and all that.”
“I like fried better than baked.”
“If I have to tell you one more time Johnny, we’re going home.”
“We drank too much and the sucky band was too damn loud. Everybody was too hammered to listen anyway.”
“You wouldn’t believe what an asshole he’s been since they’ve separated.”
“That’s it Johnny, we’re leaving.”
I called wife and asked her if she knew what time it was. She was still shopping and I told her I’d see her at home later when I got back from visiting my parents.
Dad buzzes me in. They’ve taken up the carpet in the condo building and the floor is bare concrete. There’s the faint smell of carpet adhesive that fills the cavernous lobby and hallway leading to their condo. Mom pours me a coke and I give Dad his father’s day gift.
We talk about their quirky Florida neighbors; Carmen and Gay, my brother, my family, melanomas, Lipitor, health care, and my shaky workplace situation.
I drove home and dogs were on the grill. I opened my father’s day gifts and we ate. Hailee was looking cute as ever, a freckled sight for sore eyes. She spent the night with us. She drew a picture of me and made a father’s day card out of it. I sketched her face and she cut it out to put in her notebook. She asked if I would tickle her face to help her fall asleep. I wouldn’t have it any other way.