Right from the start, important pieces did not fit. There was a standard list of grievances on the table requiring redress that I was supposed to be considering but my commingling right and left brains were wandering outdoors in collusion where the air was clear, or clearer. That’s where I believed improvisational skills helped. I could talk the talk if nothing else, right? If not that, what? More?
I said something like, “But, still…”
I was speaking directly to the lone tween twin who dangles a burgeoning penis. We were seated on comfortable chairs under the same ceiling. It was painted off-white. He and I speak infrequently in that starkly direct manner where eyeballs are forced to focus, but the topic of discussion, his thirteenth birthday, which was only five months away, warranted flexibility from his side of the aisle. He maintains that the gap, and all else, is all my fault, and I try not to argue the point or points, however obvious. If I had to guess the current color of his eyes in the dim light, which I assume must have changed along with other vital body parts in one burgeoning phase or another, I might be forced to stall in order to consider the options. I am fairly certain they used to be disproportionately bluish, but contained steely specks of a slate gray that looked aubergine in unnatural light, which is the light he favors most. And I am also certain there must be many causal connections hidden somewhere deep within the burgeoning parts that I chronically overlook. All the more reason to keep my big mouth shut.
Otherwise, we see eye to eye in that we both know what he wants. He wants more.
“Why always more?”
“What else you got?”
“How about being satisfied with what you have?”
“What,” he scoffed, “like you?”
We are rarely to be found in the same indoor location because he prefers locations where mayhem is brewing. I, on the other hand, tend to thrive where I can pretend there is, or will be, edifying sights to see.
I said, “I suppose it’s nearly impossible for a child to accept a parent as a real human being.”
“You speak as if it’s so obvious.”
He said, “It is to me.”
“Do you ever think that I might have needs, too?”
“You don’t need anything. You have everything you need. You have a house, a car. You get to drink all of that stinky brown beer you like.”
As I held tightly to my unstable knee jerking in the nearby vicinity, I said, “Interesting.”
After that, he walked away to be left alone with his electronic devices and I felt a lot better about myself in the burgeoning parental area. No harm, no foul. Evolution continues unabated. With or without questionable contributions from the likes of me.
Later that afternoon, the winds were blowing bitchin’ hard off of the brittle surface of Monterey Bay, and I was observing dozens of recently hatched baby quail stumble around like old fashioned Bowery bums in the high grass. The nervous parental overseers watched from separate perches on a branch of a wild flowering shrub. The babies looked as if they’d been drinking rubbing alcohol straight, no chaser. It was Spring, after all, when pretty much anything goes. I was not aware that the tawny owl was in the vicinity until I heard him say, “I don’t know how any of those dumb clucks survive until the next morning, being that dumb and all.”
I said, “I agree they look dumb, but I saw the mama quail rocking on her branch of that flowering shrub as if she was grooving deep inside of her hollow head and her flaming loins simultaneously. To me, that’s a pretty impressive feat of multi-tasking. I thought the forest might spontaneously combust.”
The tawny owl said, “Yeah, but I’m talking about what rises up with the real heat in the morning.”
With my knee acting up again, I conceded, “You’re probably right as always.”
Later, when I heard his lovely wife, Thee Mrs., delve into a stirring rendition of Wang Dang Doodle in the sweet potato pie a la mode manner of Koko Taylor, I paused to savor the refreshment. Spring was not only for the birds. Nectar was oozing and juices flowed deep and wide. The bees were down on their haunches giving and receiving thanks and the bugs were doing most of the buzzing. There were cougars busy being born, ocelots, seals, giraffes, tuna, halibut, hawks, elephants, deer, bass, coyotes, minnows, gnats, mice, shrimp, abalone.
The tawny owl said, “When the lovely Thee Mrs. drains all the magic she can from the refrain ‘All night long’, that’s my cue to fly away.
“How do you know?”
“How could I not know?”
“She seems to do that a lot when I’m around .”
“She don’t like me talking to you so much.”
I said, “I don’t understand what she has against me.”
“It’s not just you. Last time I looked you’re only human.”
“She can’t help but look down on you. She can’t understand how I don’t.”
“But, you do.”
“That’s what I try to tell her.”
Later, before he went gone, gone, gone in that dynamically fluid manner of his, I asked the tawny owl how many children he had. I know he was very definitely looking down on me when he said. “There ‘s a whole bunch of ’em out there, I can tell you that. All still flying high.”
Not long after that, when I was pursuing the figure eights prescribed to me by the tawny owl to increase interstellar buoyancy, aligning the vertical axis of my head, shoulders, waist, hips, groin, and wobbly knees, and feeling my way along with the thrombotic groove of Locomotion by John Coltrane to propel me in the direction of celestial heights, the tween twin returned with his mind thoroughly made up like a trashy cinematic cartoon..
“I’ve narrowed down what I want,” he said.
“Impressive,” I countered.
“It’s either a jet-ski, an ATV, or a sno-cat.”
I said, “What about a drone?”
“You mean like with bombs?”
I said, “Sure, why not?”
He said “You buy it, I”ll fly it.”