A short while back, we quickly explored the deconstruction of familial unity, as well as the sense of identity.
We’ve went through the losses. Now it’s time to see what’s been gained. And in short, a tale has been woven with the foundations of those previous experiences. Call it uncanny fantasy, call it German Chocolate Cake, or call it whatever you like. It’s here.
Transcripts for your read-alone, or read-along pleasure:
Alexander’s angry episodes were only an expedient to more venting. To young Aden Walker they were altogether insignificant, truly nothing to dwell upon. Even the polar extremes had been too infrequent to waste any time with. They were essentially harmless, the complicated effects of an overworked father who probably felt unappreciated, who spent half of each twenty-four-hour cycle in a loud grey factory with other men who were just as overworked; Aden knew this because Alexander brought him along to the factory once, telling him to work hard in school so he wouldn’t have to do the same kind of work. As a boy, Aden didn’t necessarily love who his father was, but he in no way hated or despised him. Alexander was his father, and as far as Aden knew, father’s sometimes lost their tempers.
During his childhood, everything in life was simplistic enough to be placed into categories such as good and bad, right and wrong. During the transition between being a child and entering puberty, however, Aden stumbled upon a very peculiar experience. It was his first taste of surreality, however dim and disturbing its bitter flavor. It stole him away from his previous, childish notions and pushed him into a place of mystery and misery, a place without absolutes.
The very first time Aden had undergone this experience was on a weeknight during summer vacation. He was carefully walking up the stairs, carrying a full glass of dark red juice. Naturally, out of his caution to prevent a spill, his footsteps became slow and quiet. Aden hastened after reaching the second-story hallway, scuttling between the master bedroom on his right and the restroom he and Angelica shared to his left. A little further and he was located between his and Angelica’s chambers. As Aden walked through the shaded hallway, he caught a glimpse of a shadow from within Angelica’s bedroom. He turned and saw the figure of his father.
Alexander’s back had been turned, and his head was down, almost at a ninety-degree angle. Aden didn’t think anything odd at the time. “Hey dad,” were his choice of words, a quick hi-and-bye.
Alexander jolted and then looked up and over without turning. He twisted his neck so as to see the one who addressed him. Upon making eye-contact, Alexander smiled, saying, “Oh! Hey Aden, how you doing?” His breathing sounded heavy, and as Alexander stared with his neck twisted and his back turned, Aden felt disgusted.
It was during that silent moment when Aden realized something was happening. Observing the details, Aden put the pieces together; it was in the sweaty glaze surrounding his father’s face, the forcefulness of the smile, the location of the man’s hands, the semi-darkness and position of Alexander’s body, and the way the man’s back had been directly pivoted so that Aden couldn’t see what he was hiding. The robe Alexander wore was like a blanket, covering all but the man’s feet. “Well?” questioned his father.
“I’m doing fine,” replied Aden. Distrusting the quality in the man’s gaze, he quickly left the conversation by entering his bedroom. He was sure to close the door behind him. A few seconds were spent in remote quiet, the image still clear in his mind of his father’s hands–and the objects they were holding. This mystery was different than the other of life’s riddles, more like a crack in the foundation beneath Aden’s very feet. Not a game, not a game at all.
He asked himself the questions: What was Alexander doing? Why was he in Angelica’s room? Was he masturbating? If so, why did he leave the door wide open? And again: Why was he in Angelica’s room? But Aden shrugged it off. Surely, it couldn’t have been what it looked like… things like that just didn’t happen.
But about a week after the first incident, while he and his sister were downstairs watching television, Aden happened to hear the faint footsteps of somebody walking from room to room on the second floor. He thought, perhaps incorrectly, that he heard a knee pop. So he told his sister he was going to the restroom and there was no need to pause the VHS tape. He ascended the stairs. He did so quietly (some would probably say sneakily). The restroom door was ajar and the light was on. He knew where Angelica was, and he also knew that his mother was out shopping, which meant only one thing:
Alexander was not using the much larger, adult restroom located in the master bedroom. Insofar as Aden was concerned, this broke the untold rules of the household, assigned dos and don’ts that had been silently established over the years. It was strange, and literally infrequent. Aden was almost positive that Alexander had in fact never used the “kids’” restroom before. But he was in there. It was an actuality.
Aden peeked through the wide crack and saw the unmistakable stature of his father. Just as last time, it was Alexander’s back that was visible, his head down focused on something directly in front and below him. Aden looked down to see what his father was so dearly focused upon, and what he saw was the pair of his father’s hands gripping tightly onto a thick white towel. The towel was grinding back and forth, back and forth, peculiarly close to Alexander’s groin. Alexander’s entire body was moving, ever so subtly, and the breathing was quick, and it was harsh with effort. Aden had seen enough. He knew exactly what his father was doing.
He stepped back, unsure of which action to take. So he stood there thinking, thinking for too long, until finally the restroom door opened and Alexander stood looking down on his son, the robe open in front so Aden could see the man’s bare stomach and chest, as well as the man’s tighty-whities. Alexander raised his eyebrows in a mock-gesture of surprise, and then laughed. “Hey Aden! What are you doing sneaking around? You tryin’ to scare me?” He made his way around Aden, but before he crossed the hallway to the master bedroom, he lifted his hand and rustled Aden’s hair. “I’m just kiddin’ around.” Alexander receded into the master bedroom before the door closed and locked.
Aden could feel the blood rushing to his face, out of disgust or out of anger he didn’t know. What he did know, was that he felt sick, and his hair was wet where his father had touched him.
This is a small portion of a much larger, somewhat epic fantasy (you read that right: Fantasy), and I hope you enjoyed it. If you’d like to see more of the ongoing project, you can click right here to be instantly teleported into the realm of the Granatium.
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I hope you have a wonderful weekday, weekend, day, night, and all future time references.
Until next time…