Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rites of Passage pt 2

continued from part 1

Most the time I knew when Dad was busy. I hadn’t thought to ask and Dad hadn’t said but then it came to me. We can’t be busy. If we were busy, Dad would be at work and there wouldn’t be any need to flip the phones. I immediately felt better. And then it hit me. What if we just got busy?

I didn’t pause long at the light switch. It was better to just get it over with. The fluorescent lights flickered, then burst on brightly. I was half out to the hallway before taking a quick, hesitant look over my shoulder. Empty. Only the hard, white glean and the unmistakable odor of chemicals. I moved to the next switch. And the next, giving one halfhearted look into the big room as I past. Also empty. Good.

I could make out the front door now and I couldn't help but think how simple this all could have been. Unlock the door, hang a right and straight in to Dad’s office. Go around behind the desk, make the flip and be gone. One, two lights at most and I was out of there. No fumbling around. No telltale odors. No pretending to be brave.

Dad’s office was always impressive to me and at the same time intimidating. I scanned the top of the desk careful to not touch anything. The thought of opening a drawer would never occur to me. What would I be looking for? Why would I be looking? I followed a simple rule. One that would keep me out of trouble. Leave Dad’s stuff alone.

I made the flip. Now to make my way out, remembering to turn the lights out behind me. Easy work until I reached that final switch. I was mad at myself for feeling scared. I'm sure my brothers never were. Once again I felt the light switch on my fingers. Come on, Ford... It’s not like someone or some thing is going to reach up and grab you from behind.

Then it was dark again.

Turns out I was right about being expected to do more. I knew this day would come. I had watched my brothers, first one and then the other, make the same rite of passage. My wait would not be a long one. Late one night, the phone rang. I heard Dad's steps making their way down the hall towards our bedrooms. The footsteps stopped.

“You need to get dressed. Elwood will pick you up. Wait on the front steps.”

It was my turn. “Yes sir,” I replied simply.

Quickly getting dressed, I made my way to the steps like Dad told me. It wasn’t long before Elwood pulled into the driveway. I opened the door and slid in beside him.

I was half expecting a surprised look on Elwood's face, seeing who it was. Instead, I was met by a knowing smile. Dad had told him it would be me on those steps.

“You ready?” Elwood asked.
“Sure," I replied to what was now my mentor. “I’m ready,” I lied…



Wendy said...


I fell upon your blog (but do remember seeing your daughter's referral photo a while back..maybe on RQ). Anyway, I need information about Nanchuan, SWI if you are willing to share. Thanks!

Your daughter is just beautiful!


Dita said...

Holy Amazing and Riveting Story, BATMAN! I am on the edge of my seat, Ford! Oh, I am lovin' this story, just lovin' it!

Now I'm on the edge of my seat...I have to have more, I'm a junkie...gimme more!!!!

Please tell me you do this for a living because this is too darned good!