Mom let me have friends over, but they always trekked dirt and mud everywhere. She gave me my older brother’s old t-shirt to use as a rag to clean up the mess. It was annoying, and when I did clean, I never did it in front of my friends. I didn’t want them to see that part for some reason. I just had to have the house clean before my dad came home.
He looks scary because of his tats. He has prison tats and a few of my friends have seen them. But I beat him twice while wrestling. He has bad knees. He never kneelled for anything, not even when he was tapping out. He’s a softie at heart. Has to take supplements and shit. I beat him not to win, but to show him that I could take care of myself if I ever needed to. I’d prefer to avoid conflict myself. One of the very few times he spoke anything, he said, “Don’t Fight. But If You Do, Win.”
I always cleaned up after my friends and they never knew. They will never know. Where I grew up, my house wasn’t big or extravagant. But it wasn’t small. Everyone walked around freely. Nothing was private but not in a bad way. You’d think we’d hired a cleaner. We didn’t because I was the cleaner. I was the cleaner because it was my friends, but they were like family too. But I cleaned the house without complaining because it was the only condition I had to follow. So my friends could come over.
Mom, said to clean in case dad came home early. But no matter how well I cleaned, I knew he knew. But he went along with it. Probably because he knew I worked so hard to keep it from him. He’s a scary dude. Not intentionally, just what people see and judge about him. He has a better sense of humor than one would think. He knows he looks scary, so he uses that.
He was in prison for dumb reasons. but times were different then. He got jail time for doing what he thought best for his family. Because he didn’t speak the language, the courts put him away. For love. Nobody can explain the things they do for love. His boss was the guy that turned him in!
When he got out, that same boss hired him back on the spot. No questions because he knew why he did it. The boss controls the pay, but he don’t control the times. Everybody has a boss. We weren’t rich or anything, his job was commission based. I think he could’ve made more money with his experience than with this one, but he was loyal. He worked for that same grueling little company because he believed in what they did.He even wanted me to go into it. Called it the family business, even though it wasn’t. So, like a proper fuck-up, I went to all the schools for anything else.
Now, because of what I’ve learned and what I know, his boss thinks I’d be a natural and wants me to work for him. Despite declining several times, he says he’s holding the position for me. But I knew he wasn’t really holding a position, he just made a new one up. So I did what I did best. I said nothing, smiled and nodded like an idiot. I just kept my dad’s house clean. so I could chill with the homies.
My pops is up for retirement though. My first thought was that he’d be home more often, and I couldn’t hang out with my friends. I dunno. He’s very private and has an RV out back. So maybe that for him. I dunno. If only my friends would clean up after themselves, but I don’t wanna be that guy that says that. I wanted to be cool and have them think we hired a cleaner. Or I could just take the stupid job. Maybe rent my dad a new place.
Regardless, retired or not, you’re always looking out for your kids. It’s beyond a full-time job. It’s a forever job, watching them damn kids. Even if it gets you sent away, he always sent something to me and my brothers and sisters. Since I was oldest, I was the most angry at him for not being there. Now that I’m old, I see why he did what he did. That’s one tough motherfucker.