Father and Son

It was a cool morning and the deep black clouds covered most of the sky. The irises gave off a sweet smell as the wind caressed them in a cool steady breeze. Morning had broken and the promise of another day woke the earth and all its inhabitants. The birds were first, a crow in the distance, and the sparrows and starlings. Every so often the dog would raise her head.  Her ears would perk up; she would give a deep bare tone, and bark at some noise she thought needed some attention. Then her large head would slowly fall to her paws and her ears would relax until the next noise of the waking earth caught her interest.

They arrived about eight on this Sunday morning. Both were well dressed yet seemed at bit rough as they had left Toronto in the wee hours of the morning.

The father led his adolescent son to the door. The son walked slowly and painfully a large distance behind him. As they got near the door the father said in a loud voice to his son:

Come on you little bastard. I don’t want any of your bullshit now. I have driven to this place for three hours and as much as I care you can stay here.

As I opened the door, after a loud aggressive knock, I said in a loud voice:

Welcome to the bastard rehabilitation center! Only bastards are allowed. Are you both bastards?

At this the father stepped back and his son, a handsome blond haired, blue-eyed, fit guy said:

Oh yes we’re bastards alright! He’s the biggest one though! pointing at his father.

The three of us all had a good laugh and they came inside and we sat in the den.

The father started things off.

Well I didn’t expect this – to start out laughing.

No sir. How can I help?

My son behaves like a little bastard, he dropped out of school, is smoking weed and partying all night, won’t work, won’t help out around the house, and steals money from me whenever he can. I have to watch my wallet and car keys, he got a ticket and we have to go to court. He had booze in the car, open, some half-naked slut with him.

She’s not a slut! She’s my girlfriend, you fucking asshole.

Sorry but I agreed that this session is only for bastards. You have to come back tomorrow, that’s my asshole day.

Both laughed and I sat there silently and kept a very serious face. I got out my computer and looked up the word bastard and read this to them.
The word  bastard means:
A contemptible, inconsiderate, overly or arrogantly rude or spiteful person. See asshole, sod.
(informal) A child that does not know his or her father.
(informal) Something extremely difficult or unpleasant to deal with.
Life can be a real bastard.
A variation that is not genuine; something irregular or inferior or of dubious origin, fake or counterfeit.

The father replied:

Well that about sums us up, if you go by definition.

Then the son said:

Doesn’t that apply to everyone, basically?

Yes sirs it does. So it takes one to know one, right sirs?

They both nodded their heads and the son had a smile.

Now can we get to it sirs. Now, all of us are conditioned bastards so why do you come three hours to see another bastard like yourselves?

You helped save my colleague at work’s marriage. He said you helped him with things so I thought we needed your help. So here we are and you can tell the rest. I’m sure you’ve seen it before.

Seen what sir?

This mess of a son! He’s a disgrace! I’m so pissed with him.

Sir I don’t see that!

Well then you’re a fucking idiot like him.

Yes sir my wife would concur with that! Do you know her? Has she talked to you?

This isn’t funny. You’re making my son laugh. This isn’t a joke! I’m pissed.

Dad, lighten the fuck up! You’re such an asshole.

Sorry sir. Do you want to know what I see?

Yes. I’m paying for this bullshit, aren’t I?

I see a man who loves his son, and is desperate to fix him when he himself is broken.  That’s what I see. Sorry Sir!
There was absolute silence for several minutes.

Sirs can you tell me: When did this all start?

Both men were now crying, the young man said:

Dad, tell him. For god’s sake tell him. Say it! Say it!

The father burst into tears and fell back on the sofa. The son just stared at him and shook his head.

Ever since my mom died! That’s what he can’t say. Fucking cancer two years ago and our fucking life has fallen apart.
Yes sir.

Now the son began to cry and this lasted for a good two minutes before a word was spoken.

May I ask you something?

Both nodded.

How do you think you have dealt with this trauma?

The son said:

I just party my fuckin’ brains out. I can’t take him – his bullshit around the house. His moods, his tears, his dates that he goes on and then freaks these people he dates out. He tells me why they aren’t like mom. She’s fucking dead! They’re not mom!

So you’re in pain so you party!  How does that help you?

It’s fucking better than doing what he does.

How is it any different?

It just is! I don’t sit at home and feel sorry for myself.

No, you just don’t let yourself feel!

Yeah, well fuck you! Why the shit did I come up here anyway?

Because you have hope and you’re tired of hurting and you feel safe.

How the fuck do you know what I feel?

Good point! So tell me!

I feel like shit okay? My life is fucked. I miss her too dad. She was my mom! But you’re … fuckin’ fuckin’ …

Fuckin’ what?

I still have a dad!

You mean you still need a dad?

Yeah, of course I do!

But not the one you have now!

No fuckin’ way. He’s got to deal with this for fucks sake. I can’t do this alone!

You can’t do what alone?

Be strong! Mom asked me to be but I can’t. I can’t do this!

Did you ever?

Yes he did, replied the father. Until you and Nancy broke up, right?


What happened?

Nancy was my old friend. Her and mom were really close. Dad liked having her around. She was great but I just couldn’t deal with it all.

So you pushed her away.


That was it my son. She just reminded me of your mom.

Dad that creeps me out!

Not that way. Nancy was just so easy to talk to.

Dad, she was my girlfriend and you were relying on her too much.

For what? I asked.

I don’t know

How about emotional support?

Dad, what do you think?

The father remained silent for some time.

Son, I think you’re right. I’m sorry that you broke up with her because I was too dependent.  You thought I wouldn’t move on. So you got rid of her for me.

Yeah dad! Mom told me you would take it hard. She knew. She told me to watch out for you. She warned me about Nancy, that you’d put too much pressure on her! She told me that.

Now the son was weeping and the father moved over to him and hugged him.

I’m so sorry son, so sorry.

I miss her Dad!

Who do you miss? I asked.


The dad, a little shocked, said, Not mom?

The son replied, Of course I miss mom but she’s dead. Nancy’s alive Dad! Alive!

I know. It’s just that it’s your mom!

Sir, may I ask, is your mother alive?

I don’t know. I never knew her. I was adopted.

Yes. So your wife was everything to you?

Yes she was.

But you still have a son!

Yes. I see that! And a daughter. She lives out west and is married.

Yeah and look at the pressure you but on her to stay. She almost gave up her job, to babysit us.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry! What do we do now?

Life is for the living dad!

You got a pretty wise son here! Why don’t you listen to him? Get closer to each other. Were you ever close?
Yes we used to be! He’s strong like his Mom is!

Was Dad!

Was, okay, was!

Well I think that getting close again is the best option. But can I give you both some advice?

Yeah sure! the son replied.

Try or do new things together, nothing you did with your wife.

No shit. Everything we do depresses him. He keeps bringing mom into it.

Well when your dad chooses to depress, how could you help him?

I can’t.


And when you choose to self medicate with drugs or drinking, how can he help?

He can’t.

Okay, but if you both work together on your relationship and it works better for you guys, will that help the both of you.

Well I wouldn’t be as depressed.

You wouldn’t choose to depress.

Okay, I need some help with that.

Well, when your son is in pain does he choose drugs?

Yes I do for sure!

Okay okay, I get it.

But I think I would like to see you again.

This was not what I thought it would be. I think I have a lot of work to do.

Me too Dad … like getting Nancy back!

Okay then! So call me and we’ll set up a time.

Sorry to come on a Sunday morning so early.

Anytime sir!


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