Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Father's War

"I promised them something from my father's war chest and I gave them my mother's love letters instead. Mind you, these were letters she wrote over the span of three years to a desolate 30 something playwright who lived on the other side of town. My father had been hurled halfway across the world, donned in leather boots and an olive green cotton death suit, a machine gun slung over his shoulder, while my mother stayed home, dutifully fucking a washed-up writer who lived in a soap box apartment in the side of a make-shift hill over on Liston Ave. She never loved my father, you see, but he never knew that. She played her role very well. She was also a talent at juggling, as it turns out." Edgar exclaimed as he lit another cigarette.

J.B. sat in an avocado shaped chair across from him, his high fashioned boots glimmered in the incandescent lighting from overhead. He repositioned his fedora and tugged on one end of his scarf to get them even again. He had a notepad in his hands, which he paid little attention to. His mind was sharp and recordable from having never touched a drug his entire life, and when he'd meet someone for the first time he was always eager to share this information. He made the mistake with Edgar at the beginning of their interview, and Edgar's response was, "Listen fuck nuts, I don't give a rat's ass if God himself lives inside your drug-free asshole, YOU are here for ME, and you better remember that. Now, if you'll excuse me while I go smoke this joint before our jaunted interview."

Edgar continued, "I remember being a boy, oh I dunno, maybe 10 or 11. I would sit in my window over looking the backyard with a BB gun grasped in my hands. I'd zero in on a family of squirrels and I'd constantly give 'em shit. They'd be out there in those the tree limbs, leaping merrily from branch to goddamn branch, they were so perfectly adept in their environment. And there I sat in my cardboard cut-out home, paid for by the United States Army, by the blood shed by my father's skillfully trained trigger finger. While my mother was out whoring around town, well, at least that's how I saw it. Turns out that's how the rest of the town saw it too. Anyway, she was writing her love letters and my father was out bayoneting the Browns for God and country, and there I was, sitting in my window, clipping wildlife from tree limbs and disrupting family values. I often wondered what they thought about it all, or if they even had the brains to do so. The squirrels, I mean."

J.B. leaned forward in his chair uninterested and brushed something from his boot. He inspected the rest of his footwear for other unwanted things, staring at them long enough that when he looked up he saw Edgar looking directly at him. It was the first time he'd made eye contact the entire interview. He noticed his rich mocha eyes were set beneath serious brows and his face was stern and featureless. At first J.B. mistook the gaze as something cordial and inspiring, but quickly realized it came from a much darker place when Edgar whipped his arm out and struck him solidly across the face with his open hand.

Have I just been bitch-slapped? J.B. thought to himself as the pain of the unsuspecting blow burned through the right side of his face. Edgar sat there, still staring at him, eyes unwavering. "Wh-wh-why did you do that?" J.B. asked through quivering lips. The nature of the interview slipped disastrously and the room proceeded into a slow spin like a toilet in the infancy of a flush. Nothing seemed real anymore, nothing much mattered now. He just wanted away from this man, this dismal author of a bestselling book that made no sense to him. Why had he been selected for this interview? His homophobic boss was the obvious answer. J.B. looked up as Edgar leaped from his chair and approached him, snatching his notepad from his hands and returned back to his seat.

He pulled out a pen from his pant pocket and scribbled furiously, then stood up and slapped the pad of paper down into the empty chair. Edgar turned and looked at J.B. and said, "You, sir, can fuck off forever. There's a time and place for everything, and there are boots worn for many occasion, but your boots are nothing more than a fancy cry for help. You mock me with your crossed legs and flair for the eccentric, with your NYC tightrope act and skyscraper ambitions. I don't write for you. You are a moth fluttering against a glass light bulb, desiring to get closer to something brighter than you. This interview is over."

And at that he walked out of the room. J.B. warily got up and walked over to where his notepad rest. He picked it up and read the words that were written there: "Father's war or mother's whore? You decide."

The End.

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