Father and Son

They looked across the room at each other. She, picking up pillows and placing them on the bed while he tucked in corners of covers.

Saturday morning and the usual ritual would take place; coffee made, eggs scrambled, and toast buttered. It would take hours to get their youngest out of bed; he’d sleep until noon if they let him. Like most college kids, he was out all night drinking beer; she always prayed for him to get home safely.

The two of them sat in the kitchen listening to some swap meet on the radio; AM dial. They read the paper. She looked over the grocery ads while he perused the front page. He kept looking at his watch from time to time. They both wanted to get an early start on traffic. 80 going to Chicago can get busy, he thought. Better wake up the kid and see if he wants to go.

He could smell it as he walked down the hallway. He could hear the bubbling of the bong. He knocked on the door softly, You wanna go up to Chicago today?, the laughing father said. There was silence. Can I come in? The sound of an air freshener can hissed through the door.

Yeah, just a minute dad. OK, come on in. It smelled like a Vietnamese whorehouse, the father thought while the son sat on the edge of his bed buttoning his shirt.

Did you save me any?

Any what?

Come on now. Give me just a toke. A little taste.

Dad.

Seriously. I haven’t had any good stuff for quite some time. Sometimes when you’re gone I’ll sneak in here to see if you might’ve left a bud behind. You never do. I’m always disappointed.

Does mom know?

Oh yeah. We go out to the garage and blaze up. The young man laughed as he took out the instrument and packed the bowl.

OK pop. The dad took out a five and gave it to him. Keep it dad, he said. Anytime your low check with me.

Thanks. Dad inhaled, coughed a little then passed it back to his son. I gotta drive today. Get dressed and come up front when you’re ready.

Love you pop.

Love you too.

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