“Are you angry?” My mother asked me.

“No,” I said.

“Well—your writing comes-off as angry.”

“That could be,” I said. “Most of the time, I’m at peace with myself.”

“What about other people?”

“I don’t think about them.”

“You are judgmental.”

“Maybe…”

“Why don’t you write like Timothy Egan?”

“Bukowski is my hero.”

“He’s a drunk—womanizer—gambler—and you are none of those things.”

“Thanks mom, but avoiding sin, doesn’t make me moral.”

“What does?”

“Being authentic.”

“Who are you?”

“I don’t know.”

I went to the golf course with my dad.

“Your mother is getting into your business again,” he said.

“I know.”

“I told her not to—you’re a man, for crying out loud.”

“Thanks dad.”

“Don’t mention it.”

He teed-off, and hit four houses. “Damn. Where’s that cart girl, when you need her?”

“You want beer?”

“Yeah—what did you think? —I want to get laid?”

I shook my head and we went to the next hole. He hooked his shot into the woods. “Damn. My game gets worse, the more I play.”

“I hear that,” I said. I struck my ball up the fairway.

“You need to get some goals,” my dad said.

“I prefer to be spontaneous.”

We caught up to the next group. It was a father and son. I immediately realized how odd it was, that I was playing with my dad and he was playing with his dad, and both our fathers sucked at golf.

They were black and we were white, but it didn’t matter.

Charles swung, and knocked his ball into the lake. “Damn. This driver is new. You spend the money and get crap quality.”

“Dad, I told you to adjust your grip,” James said.

“I know son, but I’m the one who is supposed to be telling you what to do.”

My dad gets nervous around strangers—especially people of a different race. It’s not that he’s a racist, it’s just that, he doesn’t know what to expect from someone who looks different, talks different, and acts different. He’s afraid to go to Walmart—but truthfully, he would fit right in.

After two uncomfortable holes, Charles asked us if we were playing golf to get away from our wives.

“I’m not married, but when I get married, that’s a good idea,” I said.

“What’s the matter? —you like the fellas?”

“Naw—he’s just worried about making major life decisions with a woman,” my dad said.

“I hear that—”

The End,

but the conversation kept going…

4 thoughts on “Fathers and Sons

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