There goes my dad, off to the supermarket on his bicycle. What a liar. Three hours ago he told me it was closed so he wouldn't have to go buy me ice cream. 'Maybe tomorrow,' he said to me in that condescending high-pitched voice. 'We can go together, okay?' Fine, but you're kidding yourself if you think I'll forget by morning, old man. It's like the guy thinks I was born yesterday.
I totally caught him whispering to my mom (like I can't hear him over the sound of my trains smashing into the walls) that he just needed to go get some soy milk. I know that was a dish of poo-poo too because a little while ago I found some in the fridge. I only wanted a sip – fair trade for the neg on the Breyer's I’d say – but nooo he said, tossing me some line about taking care of my week-old cough. He has a cough too but he still shovels in the meuslix and milk every morning while he tries to make me eat that hot water and rice stuff. 'And don't drink out of the carton,' he tells me though he does it every day. So I ask him to get me my cup and he throws this attitude like it's my fault I'm not tall enough yet to reach the cabinets. Then when I try to help clean up and put the milk back in the fridge he starts in on the Save Energy routine. 'Hurry up and close the door, all the cold air is getting out!' Right, Mr. Eco-Life, leaving your laptop on while you slip out the door.
Mom's busy with the baby so the living room is all mine. I got out of diapers a year ago, she doesn't think I can figure out daddy's password?
Last time I said I wanted ice cream we were at the supermarket. Come on, Pops, it's summertime. If you're not gonna crank up the a/c then at least get me a rocket cone. 'Oh, those are kind of expensive, and I don't think I have enough money today, buddy.'
Maybe if you'd work more than an hour every other day, Mr. Freelancer.
I can't wait to hear the excuses he comes up with once I learn how to count money and tell time. It's only seven and mom gave me 500 yen. What do you say to a couple rocket cones, sucker?
For a while I was too young to understand my dad. But since I learned how to imitate him I see how twisted he can be. 'What's this?' he would always ask me when I first started talking. 'What color is that? What animal is that?' Questions, questions, give it a rest, I'm trying to eat the wheels off my matchbox cars over here, and I'm not supposed to talk with my mouth full remember? Some of his questions were kind of tough, but I learned the answers as fast as I could so he'd maybe put a lid on it. But then his questions got harder. 'Where's Shimajiro going?' he'd ask whenever we watched DVDs together. 'What's Mickey going to do?' Like I haven't made him watch these with me a thousand times already. We both know what's going to happen, just keep folding the laundry over there big man.
When I started asking him back, that's when the hypocrite in him came shining through. 'What's this Daddy? What color is this Daddy? What animal is this Daddy?' Man, he got bent out of shape. 'You know what color that is, Yamato, why do you keep asking me?' And his face would get all red. Same with my DVDs. 'Who's that Daddy? What's he gonna do Daddy? What's gonna happen?' Red face again as he starts to growl at me - 'We've seen this a thousand times, Yamato, you know what's gonna happen, okay?...' Then before he can catch it his clean t-shirt falls off the clothesline and onto the wet dirty balcony. ('God damn it!' God damn it. 'Don't say that!')
Oh, so you can but I can't. Gotcha, Mr. Father Figure.
He really went crazy when I started using the same words he used whenever I tossed my dinner on the floor. He didn't even care that I was using them correctly.
When the new kid showed up it got even better.
'Don't hit your little brother!' And he'd smack me on the arm.
When he's in a good mood he's always squeezing my cheeks and messing up my hair and turning me upside down, and he laughs his head off. I give Seiji one little purple nurple and dad blows up like when I tried to use his razor.
'Okay buddy, help mommy take care of your baby brother,' he tells me on the rare occasion he actually goes to work. This from a guy who can't drag his butt out of bed to help with the kid's night feedings and poop sessions because he was up till two pecking away at his computer again.
'Don't eat in the living room. Don't pee in the shower. Don't go outside in your pajamas.' There's no end to his stupid little game. Stupid, that's another word I learned from him. It's what he calls all the TV shows I wanna watch. 'Look,' he says, ripping the remote out of my hand. 'The funny dancing cactus is on!' He lets out a phony giggle like that's going to take my mind off the pain in my fingers. 'This is much better, isn't it buddy?' No. But I deal with it and get settled in, only to watch him come back from the kitchen with milk around his mouth. 'You're watching too much TV,' he says. 'Let's do something else.' So I grab my trains and start smashing them into the walls and it's back to the cactus for both of us.
Oops, he's back from the supermarket already. He makes me ride my tricycle on the side of the road and freaks out when I don't look both ways twice before crossing over to go to the park. Now look at him flying around the corner on his bike at night with no light. I used to wait for him at the top of the stairs and ask him what he got at the store, but he always told me the same thing. 'Just some stuff for mommy.' Then he'd go into the kitchen and start ripping open the chips and beer. I ask him for some beer – ‘Oh no, (gulp) this is no good for you (gulp).' – and he pours me some milk. Which is what I wanted three hours ago.
If I ever figure out what he's saying to mommy in the next room when he thinks I'm finally asleep it's really gonna be interesting.