Fiction

Clarity begins at home

By Alan Berger

My pop told me instead of hanging on to crap, flush it. Got it? Yeah pop. My father was a cop.

My father didn’t have a best friend. Didn’t need one, everyone was his friend, until they weren’t.

He said yeah, I know it’s done, and done, and you can’t take it back, and when you flush it,it must go somewhere, just make sure it’s not in your fucking somewhere. Let the other whoever or whatever have it in their fucking somewhere.

My biggest thrill growing up was when pop would take me down to the station and let me watch through the one way mirror his detective, and interrogation skills.

Before he would sit down in the interrogation room, the ritual.

He would take a hanky out of his pocket, dust off his seat, and look at the suspect and his lawyer all the while and announce the following.

“We are not on the same letter, page, book, or building on this, and, we ain’t ever gong to be”. And, with the guy’s lawyer sitting there, pop would use his style of eyeballing. Then, he would turn to the guy’s lawyer, then back to the guy, and say, “If you think this fucking retard is going to get you a better deal than with me, right here, right now,be my fucking guest”. The guy would look at his ex lawyer.

Those were the day.

He said he knew guys that always figured that they were just renting their souls, not selling them.

Here was one of his stories. He called his “Template”.

He was in a bathroom stall reading a newspaper, and doing his thing when two guys walked in. As they were pissing, one said to the other, “It’s a cinch and we can make a lot of dough”. The other said, “I gotta be careful, I don’t want to go back to jail”. The other said, “You don’t get it, it’s all legal”. The other said, “Then I’m not interested”.

“This is what we are up against”, he would proclaim.

I adored that tale. I had to.I heard it a million times. Mom wanted another kid after me. We have two girls and two boys, is there another sex? He said. She thought that was funny. They had a good thing going. He was a nice guy, until you didn’t want someone to live anymore.

My mother was an ex – beatnik with a P.H.D. from Harvard. My father told her, her P.H.D in philosophy, couldn’t cure a headache. She would say if she had become a real doctor, she would have married someone else other thana flatfoot, with a Flathead.

My mother’s idea of a formal education was to see a good movie.

She died when I was fifteen. I loved her. She talked like a Tugboat captain and she was not everyone’s cup of tea, but nobodies’ bottle of poison either.For someone with a mouth like hers she always knew when to cool it.

Here today, gone today.

Ma wanted pop to order HBO. Pop said we have B.O. That’s enough.

We got HBO until Miss Boston P.H.D. went to meet her maker. Then the HBO soon followed.

On the early morning she died,it was as if she was taking off like a peaceful sailboat sailing to the sky.

It felt good. She had been sick for a while and it wasn’t going to get any better.

Until it finally did.

I once had a girl. Then one day, I didn’t. I put a no trespassing sign up in my brain but in my slumbers, she showed up anyway. She didn’t even wipe her feet as she came thru the doorway to my fucked-up sleeping head. Then she would leave without closing the door and go on her merry way.

Maybe the best thing in the world isn’t being in love with someone, but not being in love with anyone.

I read about a guy who was such a fan of this baseball player, that every time he was traded to another team, this guy moved him, his family, and his job everything, to the city where the player went.

“I must follow, for the game, for him!”, he told all.

The player got wind of this,and said the guy was an imbecile. The guy got wind of that and shot himself in his garage where he kept his shrine of, “The Player”.

When that piece of news blew into the players ear, he told ESPN, “Well, what did I tell you”?

My parents met at The Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink. She fell, and he picked her up. “Do you care to take advantage of this physical coincidence.” she said” Sure lady”, he said, and that was that.After a few dates, he said if she didn’t marry him, he was going to kill himself. That was Mom’s version. His version was that she bewitched him, and after that, he said he was on auto-pilot had no control over his heart and soul.

I liked very much believing both versions because knowing them, they both sounded believable

My father’s older brother did Viet Nam. His assessment was, it sucked, it was wrong, we were wrong,they were wrong, the bloodshed, the deafening horrors he would keep silent. And then re-enlist for fucking Cambodia so they would not draft his little brother like they did him. Did he come back? He did not.

Pop enlisted within an hour when the news came in. Not for God and country. It was for revenge.He was well on his way to kill the guy that killed his brother. Not too much to ask for he said in his prayers.

Always have a box of doughnuts in the car, so when you get pulled over, and they ask for the paper work, give em the box. And you will on your way, without a ticket and a wave. That was the start of my first driving lesson from cop pop. He wrote a poem once.

I like the laughter.

The before and after; I like the push and pull.

The give and take

The why do people do the things they do, for Christ’s sake?

In the old days you got married to watch each others’ back as you eked out a living as the wife took care of the kids, and the dishes. Back then, you got married to scratch each others’ back. Now you get married, to stab each other in the back.

I fell asleep thinking what America contributed to the world. I am speaking of the truly important life changing contributions. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley Frank Sinatra. All good things come in threes. With me “The,whatever gets you through the night”, as Frank would say, is coffee, and a good haircut.

Oh, well Tomorrow is another day, and the hits just keep coming like disposable diapers.

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Categories: Fiction

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