Dad, Can You Read This Please?

Text from Editor:  Now what about those bznz cards? If you have a format, can I get some printed? Huh? Huh?

Omygosh, I forgot.

Well, sort of. Ya, ya, ya. You sound like my oldest. Had me proofing his anthropology paper for grammar at 7 am. I, bonked to the world, one sick cat at the foot of the bed, another one that snuck in reeks like he went frogging in the ditch and claims airspace somewhere near…





“I’ve left a note on your computer—about the file on your desktop.” I grab a rung into daylight, listening to a flurry of instructions, “…if you could have it back by to me by eight, then I can read it over. There’s other stuff I have to add.”

I can feel a phone slip next to my ear.

“I’ll call to make sure you’re up,” says the voice.

Suddenly I sense the temperature is hovering around ninety degrees. The wife left a heater on for the sick cat—who has tropical genetics. I’m waking into heat stroke.

“Whaaat? What time do you need it?”

“Eight, but if I can get it by at least eight-fifteen, I can still read through what I wrote.”

I can hear myself mumbling about litter boxes, and who’s gonna let the chickens out, and how come I never get my van washed, or if the youngest is still in the house… conscious slips back. I was in Dreamtown—again—in the interesting, start here, wander there, look up, mind candy tour.

“Ya, ya—turn off the heat—gaaaa.”

A click and the space cools. Then the voice again, “I’ll call you…OK, Dad?”

I feel a pressure whoosh; a door, somewhere, opens. A female air traffic controller blares, “In the van! I’m leaving now if you want a ride—Sam! You text me after school, I’m not picking you up at Marcus’.”

This reminds me, I should send a check with my youngest for food at Marcus’. Marcus has the rumpus room hang out in the rainy season. When the weather’s better, they’ll be in the deep backyard amid the seasonal whir of ink balls flying at 500 ft per second. Soon. Or was that Dreamtown?


Reason, or an angel, clicked my brain on. I wanted to go back to sleep; I could have. But that phone beside my head, so gingerly placed, turned into a teddy bear, or a toy truck. My kid needs quality time—and despite his myopic, propulsion of young adult self, he’s still my lil buddy.

Focus, kettle, a hit of air out the window, flick on the box, take a leak, head count on occupants, sit down on the stool, look on desktop, launch file, Word—gad, and begin to read…

“Review of Pastoral Tool Develop in Application of Sedentary Social Development in Various Concentrations of Nomadism by Ablamas Abdirhshzen”—wtf?

(I’m sorry that I’m being profane, it’s just that my mind does spurt in grunts for at least the first 20 mins after rising. On sunny, nice, happy, weekends it’s more of coo, coo.)

Oh well, it takes me seven mins to grasp what the child is on about—a controversial dig and research project into the use of serrated ceramics found among nomadic group relics which define sedentary and agrarian splits of organized peoples in specific regions of the near east sun belt.

I check grammar only.

Youngest is now floating, prepped and cologned, using proximity and nervous pacing to indicate he’d like a ride somewhere. Normally, he walks the mile, but his foot’s been tender.

Parental guilt speaks, “I’ll give you a ride, but blame your brother…he wants me read something.” Youngest, once scoped on the situation, is resigned, but accepting. This the most adaptable and self reliant one. The oldest knows his life is a parade and makes no excuse, well, he’s learning to make excuses, good ones. Excuses that sincerely consider the feelings of the individual he is obligating. I think he learned this skill when he reached an age of maturity—when I could kick him out of the house knowing he’d live. That’s when I took him aside and said, “You’re a man now. There’s nothing you can do or say that will ever stop me from being proud of you. Know that I am proud of you.” He beamed. Then I said, “Also, you have a new chore, as a man. I will tell what’s wrong with world, and bitch, and complain, and you have to listen. Especially if I’m driving you somewhere.”

The file is proofed. It’s pretty good—writing-wise. He’s a good writer, though I tell him constantly, “Stop sounding like a pompous intellectual and just be concise. Geeesh.”

Save. New name. Back to email, reply, attach, send. Done. Hero cookie.

“OK, Sam, let’s go. And don’t stand there waiting for me, tidy up as you walk to the door.”

Then I look down, a note:

Dad, I sent you a new file. Don’t use the one on the desktop.


Dad, Can You Read This Please? © 2011 Gaboo. Read more Gaboo? Click his tag.

3 Responses to “Dad, Can You Read This Please?”
  1. Sarah says:

    Gaboo, I love the meandering thoughts interjected with well crafted tale. The last line gets me every time. Keep the inkwell stocked.

  2. these little chunks of life are so clear and real, like being there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *