For your reading pleasure

I've been carrying this story around for some time. It was time to flesh out.

Like Father, Like Son
I’m sneaking sips of bourbon, disguised in a plastic convenience store cup filled with Diet Coke, when my father shuffles into the family room.
I’m caught between feeling like the little boy who has been caught doing something illicit and adult-defiant and doing whatever my 56-year-old self wants. And right now, I want the hurt to stop, so the Bourbon Big Gulp, tipped back in dad’s coffee-colored leather La-Z-Boy.
“I’ve got something for you,” he says, guiding the tennis-ball-covered walker tentatively across the ancient orange shag in the family room.
Out of his pocket comes a black ring box, trimmed in gold.
“Dad.”
“I want to give this to you now, not after I’m dead.”
I hold out a hand, tentative. He puts it on my palm, like a proposition.
“You know what that is, don’t you?”
I open the box. It’s his diamond ring, a full carat, set in a simple gold setting.
“Dad, I…”
“That’s the ring I bought myself when I quit drinking. I want you to take care of it. No arguments.”
He turns the walker, trundles toward the kitchen.
I slip the ring onto a finger. It’s too small to fit anything but my pinkie.
I take a sip of my drink, exhale with a cough, the bitter taste covers my lips.
My mouth tastes exactly like defeat.
I burst into uncontrolled sobs, tears like raindrops.

4 comments:

alister said...

Caught between caught, between the parental bond and flesh and blood stacked separate and tall. And what can you do? It has pre-emptive rights. The same blood is power to reboot your ass. It’s out of your control. You wear the ring, you go the same way. And that’s controversial to your mind. At first.

J.C. Montgomery said...

This definitely was a pleasure to read even though the subject matter is dark. I hope you can flesh out more soon.

Shadow said...

brilliantly told.

Jennifer said...

Brilliant is an understatement. Moved me to tears. Thank you for telling it so eloquently.