Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bedtime #GBE2

The lights are deliberately low at Best Dad Evar’s home. The hallway filled with framed family photos, and occasional crayon marks and furniture scrapes is particularly dark, as it leads to the children’s bedrooms. Everything in the house is dark and quiet... for the moment. The silhouette of our hero appears in the doorway at the end of the hall, then tiptoes out, one step, two-
“Brrrriiiinggg!!!” The telephone loudly announces that some fool is calling at bedtime!
“God damn it!” Best Dad Evar grunts through gritted teeth. He lopes across to the phone and roughly pulls it from its base before the second ring.
“Hello!” He hisses into the receiver. A voice can be heard on the other end of the line, but its words are muffled. Best Dad Evar rolls his eyes. Next he nods.
“Well, we just got the kids to bed, but... well, now’s okay.” It must be clear to the person on the other end of the line from his tone that it’s not okay, right? Or maybe not, because whoever it is, they keep talking.

“Uh huh.” Best Dad says quietly, moving quietly into the kitchen to ensure that his half of this conversation can’t be heard in the back rooms. Anything to avoid disrupting the now (hopefully!) sleeping children.
“Mmmm.” He says.
“Oh... yeah.” He says.
“That sucks.” He says. His fingers are now tapping on the counter impatiently.
“Well, why don’t you-” He stops as the voice on the other end of the line breaks in, interrupting. Best Dad now glares ahead. Eventually the voice stops.
“Well, I gotta go.” Best Dad says.
After a moment he says, “I have some things to do to prepare for tomorrow,” explaining himself to the doubter on the line. The voice continues for another minute or two.
“I’m sure it’ll work out. I’ll talk to you later, okay?” Another minute of chatter ensues from the phone as Best Dad glares at it. At one point he holds the phone away from his ear and makes a face at it.
“All right, well I really have to go now.” Finally the other party relents and Best Dad says goodbye and hangs up the phone.

“Wow, Best Dad Evar, what was that all about?” The narrator asks now that Best Dad has settled in to wash the dishes.
“Oh, it was my brother again.”
“Does he always call-”
“At Bedtime!” Best Dad exclaims, throwing his hands up in the air, sending soap suds flying toward the yellowing ceiling. “Can you fucking believe that?! How many times have I mentioned to people that we try to keep everything quiet and calm at bedtime?! It’s not like we’ve ever changed when bedtime is, have we? Everyone knows when bedtime is at our house. But every other night that god damn phone rings at 8:15 or 8:30!”
“Well, why did he call? It must have been important.” The narrator says. Is that mock obliviousness in his voice or imbecilic sincerity?

Best Dad raises one eyebrow and his lips curl into a smirk. “Bull shit!”
“What?” The narrator sounds wounded, but he could just be playing along.
“It was some spat with his girlfriend.”
“His on-again off-again girlfriend?”
“Did you know that already?” Best Dad sounds impressed.
“No, based on what little you’ve told me about your brother, I guessed it.”
“Yeah, well. It was some stupid shit that won’t matter day-after-tomorrow. But he just had to call me to ask what I thought about the whole thing.”
“I notice you didn’t really tell him.”
“And he never really gave me a chance to, did he?”
“No, it sounded like he was just talking non-stop.”
“That’s because the only thing he wants is for someone to listen to him talk. He doesn’t really want anyone else’s help or advice. He just wants you to listen and agree with him and his ideas and plans.”
“Speaking of ideas and plans…?” The narrator wonders.

“Whatever do you mean?” now it’s Best Dad’s turn to mock obliviousness.
“The favor, I want to know what the favor was!”
“Ooooooh, you want to know about the faaaaavor.” Best Dad pauses for dramatic effect. “You’ve been itching to know about the favor.”
“Well, yes, Best Dad, I'm very curious about the favor.”
“A little mystery like that burns inside you, doesn’t it. Soon you’re longing to find out what it is, smoldering with curiosity. It could be something stupid or mundane.” He says raising his eyebrows playfully.
“But knowing your brother, it’s probably not.”
“Well, you’re going to have to wait a little longer. He talked a lot, but he didn’t mention it.”
“Damn it!”
Best Dad laughs heartily, amused that even his personal narrator swears.


Jo said...

My little interior voice cusses like a truck driver! lol Glad to hear BDE's does, too! Loved it, as always. Good for a nice big smile.

Anonymous said...

No fair! The favor? Next time? Pleeeease?