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Monday, May 16, 2016

How I Killed My Father

The End, pt.1

"I know this is a difficult time and we appreciate you coming down" smiles Sergeant Madison pushing a stack of paper towards me.  She digs in her bag and comes up with a pen.  She hold it in the air daring me not to accept it.  I look down at the fake wooden table, reach out and take the pen.

"Didn't I do this already?" I ask studying the thick report.  This is ridiculous.  Such a huge stack of paper for a stupid old man that fell down the stairs.  

"Any accidental death is always documented" shrugs Sergeant Madison.  "For public safety."

"Public safety?  He fell at home!" I complain.  

"I understand, Mr. Turner" she says soothingly.  "But we need to finish our investigation."

It sounded like Sergeant Madison emphasized the word 'investigation'.  But maybe I'm just paranoid.

"We need to make sure there are no public risk.  Like environmental concerns.  Or criminal" she adds casually.  "So let's review, sign and get you out of here ok, sir?  Make sure you sign it James P. Turner like it says on your ID."

And we go through it.  Again.


The Creature

I got kicked out of school for selling pot.  The school never pressed charges, but they did kick me out.  That's how I ended up back home.  In three years, home changed a lot.  My sister moved out, my mom started working and dad is crazy.  Mom and sis call him 'The Creature' which is pretty fucked up until you have to deal with him.  The real irony was dad was once a prominent psychiatrist.  Now he's a slack jawed, drooling, idiot that wears diapers and 
only cares about toast.  Butter and crumbs smeared across his unshaven face.  Slice after slice into the toaster.  While he feeds, there is a feverish glint in his eye.  His last spark of humanity.  

When I moved back, dad had no idea who I was.  He thinks I'm Mexican.  My presence makes him paranoid.  But I need breakfast, so I go down the stairs into the toast and urine-scented kitchen.  After two days or not bathing, dad smells pretty ripe.   

"Good morning, dad" I smile.  

My father stops buttering his toast and stares blankly at me.  "What are you doing here, friendo?" he asks in a hostile tone.

Friendo?  He's never said that one before.  "Uh dad, it's me.  Jim.  Your son."

"How dare you talk about my family, amigo?"

"Ok, dad" I shrug pouring milk over cornflakes.  I think about making coffee.  

"I'm not assigning any blame" says Dad putting two fresh slices into his toaster, "but my CD-ROMs are missing."

"Ok" I answer looking for coffee.  Mom buys the good stuff and I need to find the grinder.  "What's a CD-ROM, dad?  Is that like old music or something?"

"You have stolen my money and burned down the tower" says Dad.  "I am calling the lawyer and police."

I look up.  His face is bright red with anger and his lips are covered with spittle and crumbs.  Maybe I'll skip coffee.  "Ok dad.  See you later."  

Ten minutes later, the cops showed up.  The police know our house well.  My dad has called the cops on my mom, my sister and now me.  He also calls 911 because of midget burglars or ghosts peering into windows.  It was the first time the cops saw me so I was handcuffed while they investigated dad's accusation.  Mail theft.  A call to mom solved the problem but now I began to look at dad differently.  After the cops left, dad goes back to his toaster.  I disconnect the kitchen phone, lean close to him and whisper, "Fuck you."  


The Girl

Before I came home, all I heard about was Priya.  How wonderful she is.  How patient.  How much dad has improved since her visits.  
Priya is a home care nurse that helps three times a week.  But I like Priya for much different reasons than my family.

I haven't slept with many girls.  And I've never slept with anyone who wasn't white.  Priya is Indian.  Smooth, mahogony limbs.  Dark, laughing eyes that devour me as she peels off her work uniform.  I watched her work for a couple weeks before I joined her outside for a smoke.

"Do you have a smoke?" I asked Priya in the garden.

"Sure" she smiled slowly as if she wasn't surprised to see me.  "James right?"

"Yeah.  Jim.  Or whatever" I winced.  Not smooth at all.

"Priya " she said fishing a smoke out of her pack.  She lights it for me and I try not to gag.  I don't actually smoke cigarettes.


"No problem.  I'm not allowed to smoke on duty, but most of the old ones don't care.  Heck, most of the old ones don't care about anything but food.  Does it bother you?" she asked.  


"Brrr!" she shivered, "So cold!  I wish we could smoke inside.  It's hard to enjoy a smoke in this wind!"

"You can smoke in my room" I blurted out like a fool.

And thats when we started fucking.  Soon, Priya would just come over, spend a few minutes with dad and turn on some youtube music for him.  Most of her shift was spent lounging in my bed.  Only on Saturdays, when mom is home, does Priya do her full routine.  But mostly we screw, eat and lie in bed watching Netflix. The old bugger even got jealous a few times.  We could hear him shuffling his walker to the stairs and slowly climb them.  Annoyed, Priya would dress, walk out and reprimand him to return downstairs.  Always talking slowly in her cheerful soothing nurse voice that never quite matched her irritated expression.  

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays became my favorite days.


The Boyfriend Project

It's complicated, but Priya says I am now her boyfriend.  We never go out.  We only meet here.  She's playing me.  I get it.  But man, those dark eyes peer straight into my soul.  Or maybe my penis.

"Your room is huge!" says Priya settling into my bed and turning the flatscreen to my computer which is now loaded with her music.   

"Really?  Well, what's your room like?"

"I share a room with my aunty and my little sister" says Priya.  "Our whole apartment is barely this big.  You guys have a really nice house.  First class!"

 "Thanks" I shrug.  I never really thought about it.  It's just always been my room.  I open the window to let out the smoke and see my pipe.  Stoned and playing Xbox is how I pass most of the day.  "You want some of this?" I hold up a crumpled bag of weed.

"I wish!  Mmmm!" she says smelling bag.  "But I can't.  Drug tests."

"Your job?"

Priya narrows her eyes at me as if trying to guess how much I weigh.  "No James.  Court.  Probation."


"Can you keep a secret?" she smiles mysteriously.  

"Yeah, of course" I say sitting up.

"Ok.  I got in some trouble awhile ago.  Meth mostly.  But I stole credit card numbers from my uncle's restaurant."

"Whoa" I nod in disbelief.  But then, I get lost in the lines of Priya's body.  Her high, pointed breasts are unlike anything I have ever seen.  She never wears a bra.  It's like they're sticking up to say 'Hi'.  Priya covers them with a pillow and smirks at me.  I blink and return to our conversation.  "You stole people's credit cards?"

"No.  I just took pictures with my phone.  This guy I bought meth from used them to order items to his neighbor's house. It was stupid."

"What happened?"

"My family never pressed charges but there's like, all these laws when you steal cards.  So I was charged.  They made me testify against my friend.  Sucks but it was his idea.  I also wrote letters to all the people I swiped.  Since a lot of them are Indian, they wrote back on my behalf.  Can you imagine?  But the bitch judge still sentenced me to twenty days in jail.  I got out in seven.  But I'm on parole, so I have to pee test."

"You were in jail?  That's crazy Priya!" I say in awe.  "What happened to your friend who used the numbers?"  

"I don't know" Priya shrugs unconcerned. 

"Damn" I say wondering if I should put my arm around her.  But she doesn't look upset. 

"It's ok, James.  I still get high.  Just not weed or meth.  I miss meth but the painkillers I get for my back are decent in a pinch."

"You have a bad back?" I ask wondering if this is a good excuse to rub Priya.

"No" she yawns and stretches her body.  "I just wanted the pills.  I get some from the old ones too.  Your dad has hydros in his bathroom.  Just 5's but heck, I bet you knew that."

My dad's bathroom smells like pee.  He pee's a lot.  He pees in his diaper, in his bed and in a bucket near his bed.  I avoid his bathroom like the plague.


"You don't take any of his painkillers?" Priya asks incredulously.

"No.  Why?"

She looks at me and smiles.  "You care if I partake, James?  I've been counting them.  He doesn't use them.  Two refills left.  We should get them.  Like he cares.  Right?"

Priya is topless, drinking a Monster energy drink and smiling at me in bed.  

I agree.


The Ice Floe

"Your mom has real Tiffany!" remarks Priya as she eats McDonald's french fries off her smooth, naked belly.  

Tuesday.  She came in, turned on dad's computer to youtube and rode me in a manner that satisfied about 5,000 fantasies I've had since her last Saturday visit where I could only look, but not touch.  She came up with her McDonalds lunch and a lit cigarette.  I make a mental note to open the downstairs windows as mom has a good nose.  I watch Priya eat.  She only eats Happy Meals.  I have a growing collection of Pokemon toys on my window sill.

"Oh, you saw the silverware?" I ask.  

"I meant the lamps in the hallway!" says Priya.  "You have antique Tiffany silverware?  First class!"

"Yeah, I guess" I smile.  Priya's weird expressions never fails to amuse me.  

"You guess?" snorts Priya.  "You're the eldest son!"

I think about this.  I am the eldest son.     

"You get everything, right?" asks Priya dipping a fry in ketchup.

"Everything?" I ask.

"Yeah" presses Priya, "everything.  Like my little brother gets everything.  Me and my two sisters get nothing.  They always leave it to the male heir.  America too right?"

"I dunno" I answer truthfully.

"You DON'T know?" asks Priya incredulously.


"James" she says wiping her greasy hands on my down comforter and pointing at me.  "You are the first born son.  How can it not go to you?  Who will carry on the name?"

"I don't know" I shrug.  Until now, my biggest concerns were Halo related.  The updates from Operation Hydra are amazing and make my shitty marijuana and home life ok.

"James!" says Priya more animated than I have ever seen her.  "Do one thing!"

She says this with such force I stop and stare, mesmerized.  "Ok, what?" I ask.

"You have to know your path.  Are you the heir or not?  The old ones no longer care, James!  YOU have to care.  YOU have to carry on.  Not your mom or your sister!  You are the man!"

"Oh I know" I say not knowing.

"You have to be ready James.  All of this" she says gesturing around my room, "is YOURS.  What are you going to do?"

"Do?" I laugh.  "Priya, my dad thinks dwarves creep in his room and steal checks.  It's all good."

"Ok" smiles Priya.  "Remember this conversation when you get nothing and are left with nothing.  Believe me, I know greedy relatives.  You don't secure your seeds and you get what you did not plant."

"Plant?" I ask confused.  Some of Priya's sayings don't quite hit home.

"Whatever" she flashes in anger.  "In my experience, the old ones long forgot about what needs to be done.  These days, they live too long.  If you are OK with nothing, I guess I am too."



"Hi dad" I say walking into the kitchen.  I smoked a bong hit before I came down and can already taste the cornflakes.  Maybe I'll make coffee.  Coffee sounds amazing.  

"You should know" grumbles dad, "I have drawn up a document.  You will be out of my house once I get the lawyer to file it."

I sigh and start to move faster.  Maybe just cereal for breakfast.  Plus the pee stench is extra acidic this morning.

"Also I am getting a TRO against you and that Negro woman who steals my pills" says dad.  "There were 17 pills on Saturday.  Now there are 7."

I look at my dad.  The Creature stares back.  An electric POP! shatters the air between us.  He calmly reaches for his toast.          


 The Accident

My dad is halfway up the stairs.  I see him gripping the metal bars of the stair railing as he pulls himself slowly up.  Fucker.  On quiet feet I stalk forward and ascend the stairway.  Our stairs are carpeted.  His hearing poor.  He never knows I'm there until I am right beside him.  My face, inches from his ear.

"LOOK OUT!" I yell.

"Wha-" dad reacts surprised.  But his body reacts faster than his mind.

It starts to turn towards my voice...and fails.  I calmly climb the stairs and never look back as he whirls past me.  Without the railing, he falls.  The sound of his death is nothing.  Carpeted stairs.  A rolling, tumble.  A sack of stick and stones.  I pause at the top but do not turn around.  I can hear a deep, wet, snoring sound.  It grows in intensity, falters and abates.  The last snore is a tiny sigh.  Silence.

I go in my room.  Priya looks up from her magazine.

"I did it."


"What we talked about" I respond closing the door.  Her face looks irritated.  Then her eyes grow as she she understands.  I try to smile, but it doesn't work.

"You-what?" gasps Priya.  "What the fuck?!  With me here!  Your mom is home in an hour!  I haven't sent my work report!  What the fuck were you thinking, James?!"

"Sorry but-"

"I gotta get out of here" says Priya.  Her eyes shoot around the room and stop at the ashtray.  She grabs her cigarette butts, pockets them and grabs her coat.  "Turn on your stereo.  Loud.  In 30 minutes, call 911.  Say you found him like that but heard nothing.  Turn on your stereo!"

"But what about-"

"Do it!" shrieks Priya as she exits my room and runs down the stairs.  I hear the front door slam.  Ok.  I turn on the stereo.


The End pt2

At the hospital I waited with my sister in a room of empty chairs while my mom paces the hallway on her phone.  Unlike the emergency room which is packed, the hospital morgue is deserted.

"Well, now what?" I ask to my sister.

"Guess we need to plan the funeral stuff" she sighs.  "he never talked about this.  Burial or cremation.  Religious service or-."

"No" I interrupt.  "I mean who's gonna pay for stuff with dad gone?  Like my phone bill?"

My sister looks at me in disgust.  She's five years older and has always treated me like a stupid kid.  We never really got along.

"What are you talking about?  Like the will?" she asks.

"Yeah" I say sitting up straight.  "What's next?"

"Jimmy" smiles my sister condescendingly, "mom has had control of the trust for the last five years.  In case you haven't noticed, dad is not of sound mind...I mean, he was not of sound mind-"

And my sister starts crying.  This is the first time I have ever seen her cry.

"I gotta make a call" I announce.  I walk down the other hallway away from mom.  Looking up uneasily, I realize I am in the area where they store dead people.  Dad's in here somewhere.  I call Priya.  It just rings.  I hang up and try again.  Same.  

"C'mon" I grumble looking down the empty corridor.  Where are all the people that work here?  Finally she picks up.

"Don't call me anymore!  I'm blocking your number!" she whispers harshly into her phone.


"I don't know you or have ever associated with you James!  Good bye!"

Somewhere down the hallway, a door swings opens.

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