I used to always sit on our back porch and smoke cigarettes when I couldn't sleep. I'd take trips from my typewriter to smoking to typing to smoking. This one time, I was sitting on the back porch and all of a sudden I saw out of my peripheral vision, an orange flash to my right. My dad had come out to smoke before going to work. It was like 5 am and my dad had just woken up to go to work. He never wakes up on the right side of the bed. The right side of the bed may come once he gets off from work after organizing all the files he needed to place that day and maybe if he got a raise or something. So this morning, particularly, he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
"You have school tomorrow, boy," he says.
"I know dad. I can't sleep."
"You think smoking's gonna help? Don't pick up my habits, son, smokin's bad fer ya."
"I know dad, I'm actually quitting, but smoking really does help me fall asleep. It sorta relaxes me, dad."
My dad, the super defensive man that he is, thinks that I am giving myself a pat on the back when I say,
"I'm actually quitting.", as if to say, "Well, at least I'm not smoking first thing in the morning before I jet off to a job I hate more than sin."
My dad just tries to act like he really knows the real version of what I'm saying. Well dad, there is no other version. I'm saying what I mean, you old man.
So, like I said, my dad's super defensive. He looks down at me, his eyes a little whiter and brighter than normal - the moon's glow bouncing off his beaty eyes, and he says,
"And I can't quit!? Psh. Son, have you any idea the miserable depths I go fer ya? I smoke the fag cos it's the only thing that will calm me down. I'm so stressed out because you are sent to a prestigious f*cked up school that makes our utilities hard to pay for, our food barely payable. We're joe's in a shack because of your education program. But what, you f*ck it up and stay up all night."
With each of those sentences, he would draw a little closer to me. And while close enough to lick my ear, he says,
"I am paying for you to be a dumbass in a classroom!"
He grips two of his fingers and plugs them in my nose and pulls my frightened face inches closer to his, and with an impulsive second of frustration within him, he decides to spit in my face. Something you'd see in a movie.
I pull myself away and look at him in disbelief.
"Are you f*cking kidding me, dad!"
He then slams the door behind me and locks it. He locks me out of the house. I'm sitting there with a bloody waterfall dripping out of my nose and saliva plastered all over my face, thinking, "What kind of father does such a thing."
I remember walking out on the back porch when I woke up the next morning for school, like a couple hours later, and seeing a Jim Beam bottle by the back door. So, he had been drunk the whole time. But who really can drink so much to become a drunk satan? I don't think alcohol can do anything worse to anyone other than my dad.
So even now, as mom and I sit on top of the pile of leaves behind the back porch, I bite my nails too close to the quick and bleed all down my fingers. I'm just nervous that maybe my dad decides to come back tonight and drink his Beam awkwardly behind me as I smoke my cigarette.