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Fuck yeah

Thursday 1/11/24

What do have we here? From a new story.


Trevor’s parents had a big-time issue—which was how they’d qualified their concern at the outset of the formal broaching of the matter, his father taking the lead as always—with his increasing reliance on lies.

His father could not have hoped for better immediate results, with this official convocation—conducted over a Friday night (to set the right tone for the weekend) dinner of meatloaf, a staple if not specialty of the house—bearing sufficient fruit insofar as the boy’s upturn in candor and consistency of narratives went that Mr. Gerald Sherborn was able to feel satisfied with himself, which for him was an integral part of getting through the day and sleeping at night.  

It hadn’t been easy pushing back against his wife’s cool-headed, pacifying ministrations, issued during one of their in-bed colloquies that had come to fill the space where the physical encounters of yesteryear had once been slotted, possessing as these remarks did at least a gleam of reason, which Gerald grudgingly granted.

But when you know you’re right, you know you’re right. Better to be aggressive than sorry.

Which was one reason why his wife’s repeated remarks, taking as they did some form of “All high school boys are this way, dear,” were not going to cut mustard with him, as Gerald had been quick to point out.

“If you think that’s going to cut any mustard here, you have another thing coming,” he’d said one time with such asperity that his wife didn’t feel it was unreasonable for her to look to their bedroom door as if a waiter might walk in bearing an alternative condiment on a silver platter for her husband’s approval.

But one of the great things that you can honestly say with a certain aplomb of satisfaction—when warranted, of course—is that that was then, and this was now.

Trevor was soon to be an Eagle Scout, as his father before him, and his father’s father before either. Someday, the boy would sire a boy, and that boy would also harbor the evergreen goodness in his heart that was the stuff of all Sherborn men, allowing for the occasional flurry of disturbance and distraction along the way, for such is life, no matter how good you are.

Gerald himself had made a tidy profit while a college student by selling dope outside of the Warfield, which neither the boy—nor his wife—knew about. These entrepreneurial adventures counted among his most treasured memories, but he seemed not to consciously credit how much he valued them, though there was little with which he’d be less keen to part.

He liked, too, that his surfeit of memories always came back to him with a bit of mental exordium in the form of the initial bars of Mary Hopkins’ “Those Were the Days,” a tune before his time, calendrically-speaking, but that he swore he could hear playing inside of his head all the same.

He’d even had blowjobs bestowed upon his canny person in that sweet old, adjacent alley by beatific, innocent concert-goers, their eyes equally dewy and radiant, having enthused with wet—but not too wet—and pliable mouths about how much they both wanted to hear the Grateful Dead and have a toke first, but were a little cash-poor right then and there.

“Fuck yeah,” Mr. Gerald Sherborn would think, recalling the very tremble of his knees, while attending to the process of working with his wife in their latest dialogue so that the future version of their son would be the best version of the boy—and the man—that he could be.

What had the boy lied about?

“What didn’t he?” is what Gerald Sherborn would have countered, fist slamming into palm of hand—rhetorically, anyway.

Where he’d been, with whom he’d been. What time he got home. If he’d had anything to drink. If he was experimenting with drugs and what Gerald called “the pot,” the definite article serving as handy camouflage for his own briefly checkered past and the knowledge derived therein from experience. Whose pack of condoms those were buried deep in the recesses of his sock drawer, ribbed for her pleasure, no less, which seemed like a bit of self-serving misdirection, if not an outright lie.

His wife’s mentioning of this discovery—which she passed along wryly, if anything, pleased by the ways of life—had caused Gerald to flash back on that time with his own father who’d told him, when Gerald was eleven, and had wet dreams on back to back to back nights, that “anyone can orgasm.”

He wasn’t totally sure what the word meant. He thought it may have had something to do with a spastic form of death if you weren’t somehow careful enough in a very important regard which no one was going to adumbrate for him.

Trevor maintained that he was keeping the half-empty pack for a friend—a Gus. But a Gus had certainly never been mentioned before.

So said the boy who’d been dating Maggie—kind, sensitive, editor of the school’s poetry journal Maggie, who was every kid’s favorite babysitter—for nigh on four years now.

Gerald and her dad had long been members at the same gym and with neither artifice nor exaggeration they each could have said they were, at the least, racquetball buddies. And as a middle school student, Maggie had baked, assembled, decorated—she festooned it with icing that could have passed for snow—and gifted the family a gingerbread house because she’d been a regular study buddy in their kitchen with Trevor. She was a math ace who struggled with science, and he knew his periodic elements backwards and forwards but couldn’t quite get the hang of algebra, so they helped each other.

“Ah, this world,” thought Gerald, pondering the churning, diverting currents of life, which, nonetheless, like a loop, catch you up from behind, and pass you by again. “There’s no way he’s not laying that pipe.”

It was enough to be looking forward to having a son who was an Eagle Scout, despite the extra time it’d taken—he didn’t need a grandkid on the path just yet. Maybe that was why his wife had smiled regarding the condoms, but probably not.


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