“Dad, I told you I am not joining.”
“David, I don’t have time to argue. Now get your butt down here.”
“No buts! I want you down here in ten minutes!”
That my friends was my father. I am suppose to go and join the military today. The key word suppose to. I really don’t want to. In fact I would rather not. But it’s my father. He wants me to. I am getting carried away with myself. I should start somewhere in the beginning and tell you about me, and my loving drunk of a father.
My name is David Rain and I live in the worst apartment ever with my father, Thomas Rain, not Tom or Tommy, nope it’s Thomas. Anyone ever call him those would be wise to run. He’s a temperamental man and he sure as hell hates when he’s called Tom or Tommy. This morning I woke up, late, and came out to see my father sitting, watching the tube. We both mumbled morning to each other before I took my seat.
I should first tell you about my father, before I get into my story.
My father is, well, actually was a good man. He was a family man, a loving husband, and a great father at one point. Today, he is a drunk, a womanizer, and at his wits ends when it came to his only child, me. He’s an ex-Marine, and yes I know, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” He’s now one of the best homicide detectives in the Bridgeport Police Department.
Even though he’s thought to be this hot shot detective, we barely make ends meat off of his wages. He spends all his money on three things, booze, cigarettes, and women. He spends what we have left on using it to search out my mother. She’s been missing since I was an infant. One morning she went out to buy him booze, myself some formula, and the next thing she’s gone. Her car was found in the river, and she has been presumed dead, but my dad has always believed otherwise.
This is why we live in the worst part of town in the worst apartment building. The place houses only drunks, prostitutes, gangbangers, drug dealers, and me. This is also why I want to get the hell out.
Today I had the bright idea of telling my father what my plans for the future was. It didn’t bode so well. I probably should have waited till we both had our morning brew, meaning me coffee and his beer.
“So, I am thinking about going into agriculture.” I said to him during a commercial.
He started to laugh. “Now that’s funny. You don’t even know where to start.”
“Do to. I been studying up on it.”
“Since when do you study?” I eyeballed him. “Hey I’ve seen those grades of yours. It’s not like you’re the sharpest tool in the shed.”
He had me there. I had four D’s and two F’s. My highest grade was in Biology with a whopping 69% average. It’s not like I studied, no it was more like I didn’t partake in actually going. “You know just because I have bad grades doesn’t mean I don’t know how to read or study.”
“No, its called truancy and the lack of showing your face when there’s a test. Which reminds me, are you planning on going today, or should I not even bother asking?”
The buzzer on our door saved me from another fight about school.
“WHAT!” I yelled. Seriously who rings so damn early in the morning.
“Hey, it’s me. I bare gifts. Hot coffee and donuts.” It was Lonni, my dad’s girl and the hottest woman on the planet.
“Yea come up.” I buzzed her in and sat back down.
“Morning.” She cheerfully said as she walked in bearing all that God had given her. My dad stirred in his seat to hide what was growing inside his pants, I did the same. She was smoking hot this fine morning.
She handed off the coffee. My dad poured some of the contents from his flask into his before he drank it. “Ahhhh, now that’s the stuff.” He said before lighting another cigarette. The three of us dug into the donuts and watched a woman kick a scrawny guy’s ass on “Jerry Springer.”
Soon, very soon, my father was wide awake, and wanting more than a coffee. He snuggled up against Lonni and whispered exactly what he wanted to do to her. Lonni giggled, “Tommy, stop. We can’t.” Lonni, I think, is the only sole survivor to call my father Tommy and live to tell the tale. She always calls him Tommy, especially when they are in the mood. She screams it a lot while they are in the bedroom and I have to put a pillow over my head to drown out both of them.
“Why not?” He asked. I gagged.
“He’s still in the apartment.” He, meaning me. I always cramped my dad’s love life.
My father eyed me. “Hey you, GO TO SCHOOL!” He yelled and pointed to the door. He didn’t need to tell me twice, you don’t stand in the way of my father and sex. Not unless you want to lose a limb.
I was out of my apartment as quickly as possible. My father and Lonni were forcibly making there way to the bedroom. My dad already had his boxers off in the living room when I walked out. It’s a disturbing thought, but I try to ignore it. Although if I was a daring kid, I could go in and tell Lonni about the prostitute my dad had over the night before, but I am partial to living and breathing.
At least I am daring enough to walk out of my apartment alone. This building isn’t exactly a high society place to live. It’s listed in the 10 most dangerous housing areas in the city of Bridgeport, and managed to work to the second spot, the prison being the top spot. In one room I could hear a woman shrieking, and I don’t think it’s Lonni. In another room I could hear a gun shot. I was just hoping the victim was dead, I’d hate to be part of a whole shootout. I just wanted to get on the elevator, which I was now praying wasn’t broken. I didn’t want to walk down eighteen flights of stairs, again.
I did think about attending school. I said, think. I did manage to get in the vicinity of the place. That’s gotta give me some points. I flipped my lucky coin, and as luck would have it, I didn’t actually need to go to school.
Instead I managed to head to the local park and ordered lunch at the roach coach. I ate a half frozen, half cooked bean, cheese, rice, and what I hoped to be beef burrito. It satisfied my hunger, and that is all that really matters, doesn’t it? I then wandered across the park to the pond, where I love to fish.
And this is where you came in. I was fishing before my father called. I’ve been fishing all day in fact. I didn’t catch much, some minnows and a gold fish, nothing special. This pond sucks compared to other places around here. I actually love catching minnows, they make for good, solid bait. Now, though, I have to actually put away my fishing gear and head to City Hall where the recruiting office is located. It’s one thing to yell over the phone to my father, it’s another to disobey him.
“How was school?” He asked jokingly as I walked up the steps. I only eyed him. He and I both knew I didn’t go to school.
“Sorry I’m late, the green line had a delay.” I told him.
“Yea I know. I was stuck on it earlier today. You ready?” He asked me. He seemed calmer. Probably because he got some before he made his way to City Hall.
“No, I don’t want to join. Why are you making me do this?” I asked. This was my final ditch effort. We have had this fight over and over again for the last two months.
“Look, this is for your own good David. This will get you out of here, and maybe after four years you will be a better man and not a whiney ass kid. If you do this, I will give you your trust fund that mom and I started for you. It will be enough for you to go out on your own and it will be enough to buy that plot of land you want.”
“So, all I have to do is join and I get mom’s money?”
“No you have to give the military four years and at the end of your term I will send you the money. It’s not much, but it will be a start for you.”
“Fine. Let’s get this over with.”
My dad held the door open for me. It was late and he had managed to persuade the sergeant in charge to stay till I showed up. I signed the papers, was handed pamphlets, and was given study material. I needed to know a lot before my scheduled date to leave for boot camp. As my dad and I walked out, he smiled. “I’m proud of you kid.” He said to me. I was on my way to becoming a jarhead, yuck!
I returned to my favorite place, home. My father had to do a steak out on the upper east side of town. I looked up at the sorry ass building and wondered if I should just leave town and forget the Marines, and forget my father. But I knew in my heart I could never do that. My father already had one missing person he was looking for, he didn’t need two. So I bucked up and told myself, It’s just four years, how hard can it be? Plus I knew in the end I would have enough money to get out of this dump and get my own place, a house even.