The dog and I are looking at my son's room. I am speechless because I don't know what to say. He is speechless because he is a fucking dog. Regardless, we both just look at my son's room and decide what to make of this. He farts. He blames me. The comedy breaks our silence.
"What the hell man??" I tell the dog who still decides its not the time to talk.
Being a father has shown me a lot of things in my time. I have seen poop smeared on walls, I have seen crayons used on walls, I have seen gallons of snot used to create masterpieces on walls. I have lost a lot of walls in my time as a father. But this, this is a new one on me.
On my son's walls........
There is nothing.
But the horror doesn't end there. There is nothing on his floor either. There is nothing on his bed, there is nothing here or there, there is nothing everywhere.
Now I know that it may seem like I have lost my mind or my sight. You are probably thinking, Hossman, your son cleaned his room. Great for him. Go eat a hot dog and stop writing about stupid crappola.
But if you read my blog, then you know such a thing is not possible. Have we not mentioned the horror of the walls?
There are no posters on his walls. I have no idea how he tore them down. There are no books in his bookshelf. There are no shelves in his book shelf. There are no pillows on his bed. There are no covers on his bed, there are no sheets on his bed. There are toys on the floor, there are no toys in the toy box, there is no toy box.
I look at the dresser. There is a lamp, a solitary lamp pushed all the way back to the wall. But there is nothing else on top of the dresser. There is no piggy bank, there is no school photo, there is no nail gun. Not that there should be one up there but on occasion I do leave tools lying around where my children can get them and maim me while I sleep. It's a game we play called "cripple dad". I'm still winning but there have been some close matches.
I open the drawers. There are no clothes in the drawers. No pants, no shirts, no pjs. In the top drawer though there is still some underwear but not as much as there should be.
In short, my son's room is bare. It looks like someone just dumped a mattress in here and then took off on a union break. All of his belongings are gone, everything, gone.
I have made enemies in my past, this I know. I may have told a few people that they should take on as a tutor the local baboons so that they could learn some manners. I may have inferred to some in my past that a tick on the ass of my trusted dog is a better companion. Sure, I don't know when to temper it sometimes, but still, this goes to far. My son's stuff has been jacked.
But of course I immediately go to my first suspicion, aliens. I have killed more than my fair share of aliens. I have round them up in the online gaming world and marched them into oblivion. Aliens have no sense of honor though and they have decided that this is the only way to get back at me for the years of painful defeats I have put them through.
Then my son walks in and shatters that idea. I do believe, Mr. Watson, that we have a lead.
"Where is your sister?" I ask him. I know, my head shouldn't go there first, but c'mon, it's my daughter. This is the type of thing she would do.
"At school" he says. Intriguing. The plot gets thicker.
"Ok." I say. "Hey buddy......"
"Where's all your stuff man?"
"Oh!" he says with a big smile on his face.
"We hid it!" he tells me, still very excited.
"Who is we?" I ask.
"Daaaaaddddddddd" he says. "Me and my friends silly!" he tells me like somehow I am now the idiot. But it begins to make sense. We had playgroup today. He had his friends over. They went to play in his room. They were quiet, they were nice. They came down and ate lunch. They didn't say a word, they didn't act different at all.
He goes to his closet and tries to open the door, but he can't. He's pushing on it with all his might and yet, it only opens about a foot and then stops. He slips inside and vanishes. I am intrigued and terrified at the same time.
I go over to the door and I push. It doesn't budge, something is pushing back. I get it open just enough to stick my head in.
And there it is. All of his shit. Everything in the world that he owns is right there, crammed inside a tiny little closet. Every book, scrap of clothing, posters, toys, wall decorations, everything. And on top of this huge pile of junk sits my son on his thrown of possession.
"What the hell man!" I say.
"Fooled you!" he says. "We hid it!" I need to tell him to stop hanging out with his sister, she's a bad influence. My nice little boy has become a criminal mastermind. What begins as just cleaning out a room now will soon turn into cleaning out a bank vault and hiding in caves. He will spend his ill begotten earnings on ice cream and power rangers crap. I don't mind the ice cream but the power rangers stuff sends shivers down my spine. That's no way for a grown man to live.
I tell the other families at playgroup what happened, how their sons may have corrupted my sweet innocent evil genius boy. However, I leave one out. A sweet little girl, Papascrums kid. She's nice and respectful and mostly shy. The only innocent in this debauchery of the jacked up room.
"Oh no she was in on it to!" Mrs. Papascrum tells me. This is her direct quote: "Want to make sure she gets the street cred she deserves"
There it is. There is Soze. And poof, she's gone.
As an experienced husband and father, I've done this before, I've handled this situation before. So I do what you are supposed to do when in this situation. I point out something to Hossmom that is just going to piss her off more.
"Of course the road is closed" I said. "Didn't you see the signs for the last three days?"
Yup, this is pro shit I'm doing. You shouldn't try this at home.
She doesn't answer right away which is how I know that she is plotting my doom. I should have just shut up but I couldn't help myself. They are putting in speed humps in our neighborhood and for the last three days they have had signs up saying that the roads will be closed while they do it. I just assumed that she would know that.
"Of course I've seen the signs" you dip shit she doesn't say but I can tell she's thinking it. I'm in her head man. "But they were supposed to be finished by the time I came back!" She is yelling loudly again. I consider for a moment discussing the drying rates for freshly poured concrete but to my ever loving credit I don't say anything. It was a close call though.
"This is stupid!" she tells me. After being with my wife for many years, I can tell her moods with just a short conversation. Her current tone tells me that she is pissed off and willing to crack the first person she sees in half. For the sake of the world and humanity, that must be me. I cannot unleash this on the rest of you. I take one for the team, you all owe me now.
"Stay put" I tell her. My voice is calm, the same calm that a snake charmer would speak to a deadly cobra. Hello Mr. Cobra, you don't want to bite me, I'm your friend, please don't chomp my eyeballs. Unfortunately, snakes sometimes do chomp eyeballs.
"I'll come out and get the car and take it the back way and you can just walk on home." I thought this was a brilliant idea. It's so close to our house that it is easy for me to do. It would take less than a minute to walk out there, get the car, allow her to go inside and jump into her pajama pants, and then take the car the back way into the neighborhood. She will be nice and cozy inside, I will be alone with my thoughts in a short car ride and away from any possible dishes being thrown. I am awesome.
"I can't!" she tells me. "I've already turned around." She sounds even more mad and I'm not sure really why. But it is not my place to question, only to avoid the wrath. I tell her to take the back way home then and I'll get her something to eat.
"I DON'T KNOW THE BACK WAY.!"
I'll admit, I'm at a loss here. I ask her how is it possible that she doesn't know the back way into the neighborhood. We've been here 4 years, this should be pretty simple. This was apparently the wrong thing to say. She screams at me that she only has to come in the normal way and that the back way is for redneck dip shits like me who need to shower 12 times a day to get the stupid off. I made up that last part but I feel that you can get the gist of what she said.
The next 15 minutes I spend telling her how to get into the neighborhood the back way. She spends the next 15 minutes taking the wrong turns and asking me how I can pass myself off as a man. Eventually she gets home. When she gets in the door I quickly give her a hug. I'm an experienced fighter and I know that there at times where the best thing to do is to get in close to avoid big haymakers.
She plops down on the couch and once again we go into the stupidity of speed humps. Why do we need so many? Why does it take so long? Why are they stupid? Why does the local construction crew suck so much cock? This goes on for about another 15 minutes.
"Calm down honey." I say. "You don't want to wake the kids." The worse thing you can do to an upset person is to tell them to calm down. It never works and has the exact opposite affect. No one ever calms down. What they do is yell even louder and start imagining how gratifying it would be to put a ice pick in your head.
"I know you are upset honey." I try again. Idiot comes to mind. "Please don't yell at me."
"I'M NOT YELLING AT YOU!" she yells. I point out the irony of her saying this while she is yelling. I hide her phone so she cannot call a divorce lawyer.
My mind is racing here. I'm wondering how we ended up in a fight, how I am somehow responsible for the road closure and how I can quickly diffuse the situation. There is an answer here, I just have to find it. And I do.
I do because I am an experienced husband and like I've said before, I've done this. I know the score, I know what's up and I know how to get out of it.
Hossmom is pregnant. This will be our third, and our final, minion. If you've read my blog you will know that pregnant women are not the most agreeable to be around at times. I'll catch shit for saying it but I know it to be true. I'm not claiming any hardship on my part mind you, but it's a fact that is undeniable. Hormones are raging, you have to pee every 2 hours, sometimes you pee yourself and your back never stops hurting. I get it, I know it's tough. And as a result, husbands everywhere get the brunt of the frustration that comes out of nowhere. Hey, we are just the guys that happen to be around when they need to vent and let the crazy out and to take the full responsibility, it is our fault that they got knocked up in the first place.
I know all of this but I seemed to have forgotten some of it. I know about the mood swings, the irrational anger that comes out of nowhere. I've done this before. And I'll have to do it again.
I immediately agree with everything she is saying. Fuck the speed humps! How dare they care about children's safety! Those bastards are all probably union and sleeping half the time. I bet that they make a ton of money making the speed humps. You know that they use substandard materials and pocket the rest! You know what, I'm going to call them and demand that they immediately open that road!
That's how you do it. Trust me on this, there is no other way.
I have 6 more months of this. I am going to have to console her when the dog looks sad even though he always looks sad. I will have to get her tissues when the "sad" commercials come on. I will have to fight the injustice of the world like speedhumps and stupid drivers. And I will do all of this gladly, it is my role in all of us.
I do this to keep all of you safe, and you all owe me. Big time.
Last night I dreamed that I was doing a series of job interviews. This in itself shouldn't be that worrisome. I used to be great at job interviews. I was personable, charismatic and knowledgeable. You wanted to hire me, the core of your bones vibrated with excitement after I was done. I was witty and funny while maintaining professional standards. When I was done, you thought "Man, I want that guy working here." But in the dream last night, I was not that guy. I was a fuck up. I was stupid.
I was interviewing, for some reason, in my wife's field of advertising. I know completely nothing about advertising. You would think that I would have picked up something from listening to my wife talk about it for so long. But nope, I still know nothing about the inner workings of advertising other than the SAG salaries of the actors that are hired. Oh, and if someone gets drunk at work. I know about that stuff too because it's fun to gossip. We should all do it more.
In this dream, I desperately needed a job. I can't remember why. However, the first problem was that I was trying to interview while at the same time taking care of the kids, one of which was a baby. The baby would cry, I would try to answer a question, my son would pee on the floor and my daughter wouldn't stop dancing on the interviewers desk. I don't think the interview was going very well because I remember thinking "I wonder if he will notice the children?"
During the interview, I was then asked to take a written exam about advertising. This used to be something else I was completely awesome at. I don't have test panic, I don't cram 10 minutes before one. I once rolled into a calculus exam 30 minutes late, was the first one to finish, got a B and glory followed. This one was not like that one. How messed up to you have to be pining for the good old days of taking a Calculus final?
The first question on the written exam was to define the word "arable." I have no idea what this word means. I don't even think that it is a word. I asked Hossmom about it as she is a word nerd and she replied that it is a word as in "You had a arable dream last night! Would you like to buy some flowers Governor" she said in her best cockney accent. She was not helping. But in the dream I was sure it was a word, a word that I didn't know and couldn't think about because at the current moment my daughter had gotten a hold of sharpie markers and was writing on the walls. And what was she writing? Arable. And yet, I couldn't define it. I was going to get the job.
The next question was "What should the first 75% of the clients advertising budget be spent on." Of course, I don't know the answer. Why would I, I've never worked a day in the advertising world. My answer did not go off well as I replied with "Boob jobs" I laughed and for some reason my son laughed. The guy doing to interview did not laugh. Fuck all. Nothing is worse than when a joke doesn't go well. There is awkward silence as everyone realizes what a numb nuts you are. A social incompetent who would do better tending to animals, probably cats, so that you won't make people feel weird in the real world.
I was given an hour to finish the test but I couldn't finish it because I couldn't get past the first two questions. So I ran, with kids in tow. I called my wife and told her to tell her people that I'm sorry I'm so stupid and to tell them that I accidentally stabbed myself with a pen while trying to use it as a fork.
And when I woke up, that's the way I felt. I even asked Hossmom why she wanted me to work in advertising. Now we can analyze the dream. It's obvious that I have daddy issues. I'm not really sure of course, as I am stupid apparently, but everything comes back to that so I'll go with it. Could it also be that I haven't been employed for 4 years and my son starts kindergarten next year? Will I choke on interviews? Is it the knowledge that when I eventually go back to work I will have to once again start at the bottom of the rung rather than the level that I earned before leaving the working world? I managed people, I made important decisions, I controlled a budget. I was a fixer, I was the guy you called on when things were about to get public and nasty. And I was good at it, I was not a stupid imbecile trying to define a word that doesn't exist. Is that guy gone forever, has he been destroyed by dirty diapers and piss stains? I'm worried that he might be. Has Spongebob Squarepants taken away all the intelligence I used to have?
I have never taken the stay at home dad thing lightly. I have always treated this like a job. I wake up in the morning with the family, I cook breakfast, lunch and dinners. I go to events, I'm involved in the national organization, I try to help others that are struggling with it. But this is not something that translates well into the working world.
Unless of course the Webster's Dictionary cares to hire me. After all, I did come up with a new word, Arable.