My son absolutely loves sushi. He has since he was small and I’ve found it quite amusing. Well I decided since it was just the two of us tonight, we would have some. Only I’m a little on the not so affluent side right now. What I did have, was a thing of nori, sushi rice and out in the freezer was some grouper. So I made my own. The first one I made turned out pretty good considering it’s the first one I did. The next one looked atrocious. It was a nice facimilie and a good substitute. Ethan will take a roll tomorrow for lunch.
When I was six, my parents got me a puppy. Our old dog (Baby the English Sheepdog) had passed away. My mom didn’t know what to do with herself without a dog of her own and I think I kept begging for a puppy. You see, I love animals. I always have, always will.
So my father knew a guy that was breeding Shar Pei’s and his dog just had a litter. My dad always knew a guy.
So we drove over and I got to pick out the puppy. Her name was Daisy. She was adorable, and sweet… and my brothers eventually ruined that.
As Daisy got older, she got meaner. She wasn’t very good around other dogs (or people for that matter).
My mom took a little trip to visit with her sister after we moved up to North Carolina. Just a short little weekend trip where she left my dad in charge of my brother and I. Keep in mind that my brother is fifteen years older than me and an adult at the time.
Old Red Socks had a couple of drinks through the day. This was nothing new. He decided that we needed to go on a beer run and we took a drive. This also was nothing new.
We didn’t go to the store, instead a little general store in downtown Black Mountain. We decided to walk around the small down for a little bit. My dad lead us to the animal shelter. It was an outside kennel loaded with a ton of adorable dogs. I distinctly remember this one brutish, tri-colored dog. He was probably a rot-hound mix. He was trying desperately to lick me through the kennel.
I loved him.
Of course my father, without thinking, starts talking about how all of these dogs were on death row, and their time was limited. Being the big hearted animal lover that I was, I started bawling. I cried the blues to my father all afternoon. “We have to save the puppies daddy! They can’t kill the puppies!”.
After a few more drinks, he was ready to rush in for the rescue. He grabbed his old hack saw from the garage and away we drove back to the kennel.
I think my brother must have been with his friend Hutto. I don’t remember him being around during all of this, but I know he was living with us at the time.
It was just getting dark out. I don’t remember if there was a lock to get into the kennel. If there was then he cut it open. He then proceded to saw open a few of the cages on the dogs that were close to their euthanasia date. Once sprung the dogs took off and fled for their lives, except for the rot-hound mix. He was happy and friendly and followed us back to the car, jumped in and came home with us.
This brings us back around to the fact that I had a very territorial Shar-Pei at home by the name of Daisy. Daisy… didn’t like this dog. I know I named him, but I don’t recall what it was. Daisy attacked him and we had to keep them separated. My dad got a long length of rope and tied him up outside.
Imagine my mother’s surprise when she got home to find this very large dog chilling in the back yard. I of course immediately tell her the whole story about our rescue operation. I remember my father had to take the dog back. I believe he also had to replace the locks that he cut. Beyond that, it was just the normal every day fight that they’d have.
Old Red Socks didn’t care much about who he angered or how. I’m sure he inherited this from his mother. My Nana was one off those fiesty old birds. She was starting to develop dementia andwould momentarily forget who she was speaking to. She’d start yelling and swearing about how all of her kids were dirty sneaks and she didn’t want anything to do with them.
My dad always had some story of hardship for us from his childhood. He was that old person telling the story about how he had to walk 20 miles barefoot in the snow to get to school. The more alcohol he consumed, the more wretched the circumstances would become.
So it’s clear to imagine that on the rare occasion that my dad and grandma got together, things were interesting.
Nana came down to stay with us for a week or so over the winter. This was probably the longest amount of time that I’d ever spent with her. She lived in Maine and didn’t travel much. It happened to be a snowy winter (to Nana’s dismay considering that she wanted to get away from the snow for a little bit). But snow it did. Somehow, my father was able to get around the roadblocks and get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Without fail every time.
We went for a usual winter drive, and headed toward Mount Mitchell. This was always his favorite place to go. I think the Mountain spoke to him, I know it always has to me. We reached the upper parking lot of the park. I was in the front seat and Nana sat in the back. My mom decided to stay home this trip.
This was where my father’s broken give-a-damn kicked in. He sped up and started spinning donuts in the parking lot. A good fifty foot drop off was to one side of us if he slipped up. And his eighty year old mother sat in the backseat screaching like a bean-sidhe at him.
Looking back, I wonder if he was trying to give the poor woman a heart attack. Most of his antics however were never malicious, just thoghtless.
Nana spent the next twenty minutes smacking the crap out of my dad. “Brenton! You stop this God dammed shit!!” She was the only person that I ever knew who called him Brenton. Even his siblings all called him Tommy.
We made it safely back down the mountain and home. My Nana returned to Maine and slowly became more and more of a recluse. But i’ll never forget the way she yelled from the backseat of the large Buick that my dad was driving.
My father liked to do things a little differently. He didn’t discuss big decisions with the family. If they sounded good at the time, they must be great!
As it was when I finally got a cat. As I recall, my mother was away. I think she was out grocery shopping and I was at home with my older brother. My dad had been on the phone with my mom earlier in the day telling her about a little kitten he found. I remember her firmly telling him that the cat was not to come home with him.
Well while she was gone, he calls back and tells my brother to drive me over to the car lot.
The kitten he had found was teeny tiny. He was sweet and starved and just wanted to cuddle (considering that it was about 50 degrees outside). Mom said that the cat wasn’t too come home with my dad, she didn’t say anything about me (I used to live this old man’s logic).
I promptly named the little gray tabby “Kitty Boy” and turned him into the fatest house cat ever. My mom caved after seeing him (he WAS quite adorable). He became my best friend for the next 17 years.
Ethan and I were being chased. We had been on the run for a while, someone wanted the boy. We ended up in an unfamiliar city and I thought we were safe. Stupid me, I let my guard down just for a minute. Our hunter found us again. I sent Ethan on ahead to a place we’d already set up and I went and made myself a target in the middle of the street. The hunter took the bait and didn’t notice Ethan disappearing around the corner. He “sneaks” up behind me and slips an arm around my shoulders. We converse for a moment, something witty was said bit I can’t recall what. I pull this awesome move and flip him over my head and book it. I hear an angered yell and he shoots electricity at me. I’ve just ducked behind a fence and the chain link absorbs the blast. People on the crowded night time street panic and it slows him down.
I meet up with Ethan and we have to book it through the mall we took refuge in. He’s hungry though so we stop momentarily to grab him some food. I’m looking over my shoulder every step of the way. I know the hunter is on our tail. I know a back way out of the mall through an old theater. As we got there, someone was waiting for us. I sit Ethan down in the hallway and tell him that I’ll distract the guy. When the door is open, he needs to run and not look back. I walk out into theater parlor. The hunter had set up metal barriers over the doors to make it harder to jump out. I’d learned of his electricity powers long before and I carried on me a pair of carbon fiber katanas. I attacked and we struggled around the room. He was stronger than I, and eventually pins me against the wall between the two exits. Instead of killing me, he leans down and kisses me before stepping away.
“They’re not far behind me. I’ve had to keep up the ruse. I know of a safe way out of the city but I need you to trust me.”
This of course is where I wake up. Did I go with him? Did I take the opportunity and fight back? It was reminiscent of a story I started years ago and I kind of want to go back to it now.