My father is a very dominant person. Charlie says he’s a mean son of a bitch when he wants to be. He once hit Charlie in the mouth during an argument. “I fight with words. You fight with your fists,” Charlie told him rubbing his mouth astonished. Well, dad pissed me off yesterday and much to his surprise, I told him so despite his reputation. It was late in the afternoon and I thought I would get taking my medications over early. I was feeling kind of iffy. I called mom.
“Can I come take my medications?” I asked mom.
Mom asked dad out of earshot.
“He says he’s too tired from working in the yard to fool with that right now,” she replied.
I hung up. I was pissed. It was as if I was some nonentity. A nobody. He would have driven to Birmingham for my sister right then if she called and said she needed him.
To my surprise, he was over at my house within the hour to administer our medication and Maggie’s food ritual.
“I’m pissed at you,” I said with a mean look on my face after we had sat down.
“Why?” he asked, looking astonished – astonished at my aggressiveness. I am usually very submissive.
“You know you would have given my sister her medications if she called,” I said haughtily.
“I’m sorry son,” he told me surprising me. I was expecting a fight. “I moved 12 wheel barrow loads of dirt out of the drainage ditch in the backyard today. I overdid it and am exhausted.”
Well, then I felt like a schmuck – a very big schmuck. Dad really did look exhausted. “Always just thinking of yourself,” I thought of myself.
Dad then laughed. “You surprise me sometimes,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of your mother in you, but you’ve got a lot of me as well!”
“I got the worst of both of you dammit!!!!” I exclaimed. “I am doomed.”
We both laughed and laughed and dad gave me a big hug as he was leaving. “Love you, son,” he said. “I love you, too, dad,” I replied back.