Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Use Him For Target Practice--"Thank You Ashely Madison" excerpt

Sunday, January 27

     With freezing rain pelting down, Tom and I did not go to Snowbirds. Instead, we took his compound bow to the archery range. I aimed at a foam deer and nailed it.
     “Do you think Dad would run around our yard and let us use him for target practice?” I laughed.
     Tom shot me a stern look and rolled his eyes.
     I mimicked JB’s familiar hand wringing, his foot and shuffling. I darted from side to side miming his also familiar deer-in-the-headlights look. Tom started laughing.
     “Using him as a target would be fun,” I said.
     “You don’t want to kill him, do you?” Tom asked.
     “No, just injure him.” I lifted the bow again and shot the deer in the butt.
     Tom shook his head.
     Inappropriate, yes. I felt a pang of guilt, but it was fairly mild. At least I’m being a real human being, not a phony.
     Later, as Tom was getting ready for bed, he said, “Dad got me a new Wii.”
     “That’s good. You’ll have fun with that at his house.”
     “He has a couple of chairs and a beanbag chair in his living room. And a TV stand. It’s not very comfortable. The bathroom is dirty. There used to be glass doors on the shower but they didn’t shut and one was broken. He took them off and hung a shower curtain. He wanted me to take a shower but I didn’t want to. I need flip flops to go in there.”
     “The shower is that bad?”
     Tom nodded and started laughing. I started laughing. Tom laughed so hard he couldn’t talk for a while. Finally he said, “There was all this black stuff in the tub the first time I saw it but he cleaned most of that out.”
     “There’s still black stuff in there?”
     “Yeah, and rust stains. I think I’ll buy him some of that rust and stain remover on TV. The toilet was all black inside, too, but Dad cleaned that out.”
     “So you can poop and not worry about black water back splash.”
     Tom doubled over with laughter. “It’s cold in his house, too. He has a space heater in my room, but it’s loud.”
     “What kind of space heater?”
     “It’s shaped like a cylinder. It glows red and blows hot air all around.”
     “Are you kidding me? People burn down houses with those. Make sure you don’t have anything near it that can catch fire. Clothes, sheets, blankets, paper, anything.”
     Tom started laughing really hard. When he caught his breath he said, “Dad put it right next to my blowup bed.”
     “What!?” I shouted. “What the hell is wrong with him!?”
     “There’s a cheap piece of wood furniture right next to it, too,” Tom laughed.
     “Oh my God.”
     “At least my window has a nice view. It’s the nicest view in the house. It looks out on a lot of trees. Dad said (Tom changed his voice to sound low and stupid), ‘I think I’m going to buy some curtains for the kitchen window.’ When you look out the kitchen window, you see an ugly garage with rusty doors and the roof’s falling in.”
     “Don’t go near that garage. It could collapse on you.”
     Tom laughed hard.
     “I’m serious,” I said. I started laughing, too. “I’ve got to check out this hellhole.”
     “Maybe we could put one of our radiator space heaters in my room at Dad’s.”
     “Yeah. Next time you go there, we’ll bring one, and I’ll have a look around to make sure you’re safe.”
     I kissed Tom goodnight and got into bed. I imagined JB shivering in his dump. I felt sorry for him. It took me aback.

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