Please Date My Son
My son is not pathetic by any stretch of the imagination but he just got out of a classic co-dependent situation with a meth addict stripper. Those are two years of his life he'll never get back. He is now living at home with me (Dad) and his mother. He is gainfully employed at Burger King but don't think because he works in a fast food establishment that he is obese. I assure you that is not the case and I'll provide photographs if you seek proof. He is taller than I am and he's 26 years old so he still has all his hair. He was never addicted to meth, thank Christ, so he also has all his teeth. No piercings. No tattoos. Very clean-cut, amiable, well-dressed. If you decide to date my son you will find that he mostly goes around in khaki slacks and Ralph Lauren shirts. He does shower and he does wear deodorant and body spray from Bath & Body Works. My wife works there and she gets a remarkable discount. Well, so why am I posting this ad for my son? As his friends say, my boy doesn't have much game. He's a bit of an introvert but don't get the wrong idea and think that he has serial killer tendencies. To my knowledge my son has never harmed or killed animals and he is not a purveyor of porn, online or otherwise. He does play video games on occasion but not the violent ones that feature ubiquitous bloodshed and senseless carnage. My son does attend a Baptist church three times a week but I've never seen him spit his beliefs in someone's face and pass judgment. As I mentioned previously, my son did love and provide for a meth addict stripper for two years. He never once referred to his girlfriend as a "loser" or "skank" or "slut" or "whore" or "bitch," at least not to my knowledge. He went so far as to purchase his girlfriend a promise ring from the Fingerhut catalog. Thankfully, he never went so far as to have her name inked on his skin. In short, my son has heart and soul and class and he is gainfully employed. He's just a bit shy so I'm placing this ad hoping that some worthy young woman (please be white or Asian...no offense to other races, but those are my son's aesthetic preferences...also, please be reasonably attractive and have a pleasant, congenial personality...will help if you believe that Jesus died for your sins...thanks!) will respond with sincerity and enthusiasm. Responses that do not include photographs and credit scores will not be answered. Thanks.
Lime Sherbet Punch in The Balls
We were feeling warm and fuzzy at the family reunion picnic. It was at the duck park so that was nice. Someone spiked the lime sherbet punch with vodka so we loved each other harder than usual. Soggy apologies abounded:
"I'm sorry for reporting you to the IRS. I'm sorry you got audited."
"I'm sorry for fucking your boyfriend. It wasn't any good."
"I'm sorry for abandoning you at Six Flags. I was mad at Papaw."
"I'm sorry for killing your pet rabbit and making you eat rabbit tacos."
"I'm sorry you were conceived. I was stoned and the candles smelled really good and it was raining and I was drinking pink champagne from the bottle and listening to Captain Beefheart."
No one knew where Jimmy was. Bobby thought he saw him driving his motorcycle to Burrito Bitches. Mamaw said that was impossible. Jimmy's license was suspended two years ago. Angie still loves Jimmy after all the shit he put her through. Everyone except for Papaw thinks Angie is an idiot.
"She's a sweet gal. You can tell she really loves Jesus," Papaw said, his face reddening when the cousins started talking trash.
"You just like her 'cause she reminds you of Tanya Tucker circa Glen Campbell," Tiffany said with a snort.
Then everyone started throwing up in the grass and things weren't so warm and fuzzy anymore.
In Between Kerens & Ennis
On the drive from Kerens to Ennis I turned on the radio to avoid conversation and looked out the window. All those lonely boxes stuffed with electric light and sick people, people self-medicating with Cheetos and cheap pizza and Twinkies and Funyuns and Snickers and Pringles and microwave popcorn and beer and wine and Jack Daniels and Jesus and YouTube and Netflix and barely legal Asian cutie pies and allergy medication and cough syrup and romance novels and celebrity gossip magazines and video games. Did any of the prisoners in those houses set back from the highway for privacy ever dream of swimming in starry lagoons and kissing someone addictive, of flying lonely around the world to see Ireland or Spain or Greece just once, of staring down into the Grand Canyon and screaming FUCK YOU! I EXIST!, of being anonymous in Las Vegas for a week and not going anywhere near the Strip, of riding a Greyhound around America and taking photographs of slices of cherry pie and roadrunners and pay phones, of doing something impossible and brave and stupid for someone they love better than their goddamn Hummel collection, of writing the story of their life and sending it to Larry Flynt? Did any of them wonder about the world beyond Bed Bath & Beyond? No. They are all protected by their lack of imagination. Those who imagine either leave or blow their brains out. There is no middle ground, no happy medium on the highway from Kerens to Ennis, Texas.
Misti Rainwater-Lites is the author of Bullshit Rodeo, a novel. Her latest full-length poetry collection, Sangre de HA HA, is from Paroxysm Press. She lives in San Antonio, where the weather is crazier than she is.