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The only son

With semen stains on the black house shirt he walks around the house, curiously wondering what mother father think. He wonders if they notice, they wonder if he knows what to them is obvious. Thus he lives, 35-years old, with his progeny on his shirt. He hasn’t been near a womb since the day he was born despite mother father’s best efforts. He perhaps never will be. Mother father pity him and long ago lost the words that might reach him. They let him be, and he lets them be, except that they can never just be as long as he is. Evaporated are their dreams of grandchildren, of seeing their offspring settled (let alone thriving). The bar of expectations gets lower on every New Year’s; they’re down to the 4′ 4″ mark on the wall where they tracked his height when he was still growing. He didn’t grow to be too tall, literally and figuratively. They consider him a failure, and themselves a bigger failure for first raising him this way and then having the nerve to call their own son a failure. They didn’t raise any others that could offset the disappointment.

He chats online. Online he’s masterful and deftly suave. He takes a job to show them his industry and then leaves at the slightest excuse. He knows what they think of him and he forgives them with a weightless heart. So lightly does he take their assessment that he doesn’t hesitate walking around in a shirt stained with semen. The reality is they could kick him out of their house at any moment, but it’s about as real as the sun not rising tomorrow. He knows he depends on them but he doesn’t act as their servant or even show gratitude. He feels they owe him. They ruined his childhood by splurging, by always being there, by giving him everything he ever wanted so that he never really got to know what he really wanted.

He wonders what’ll happen to him. They wonder also. They sit at dinner, both parties wondering what the other’s thinking. He still occasionally makes demands from his mother to make a favorite dish. It’s gone like this already for so many years, why not another day? Where’s the work of Darwin’s evolutionary theory in this little world of three? (Who’s fit to survive and who’s best forgotten?) Mother father count the days to their demise so they may be relieved of the sadness of seeing their son like this; he counts down the days to their end so he may live as a free man for the very first time.

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