Like Father, Like Son
This story is dedicated to my Dad
Life With My Dad
Life. . .it's hard to find the perfect words that describe life, well maybe for some people. As for me the words I use to describe MY life is, stinks, pathetic, and of course dull. Those three words describe MY life perfect. Hi, my name is Clay, Clay Sparks (yeah go ahead and laugh at my last name, everyone else does). My age is the big fourteen!
They say being a teen is the best part of everyone's life, well that's not true from where I'm standing. You see I was born to two parents (of course). There's my Dad, Josiah (named after his great, great, great grandfather) and there is (was) my Mom, Mary. We were a happy family, or so I thought. We must not have been too happy because when I turned thirteen my Mom left me and my Dad without even saying goodbye. She just packed up and left.
Dad was heartbroken and so was I. I guess you might say I kind of hardened into a tough little twerp after Mom left. I was devastated and depressed and also afraid. But slowly Dad and I managed to continue on with our lives.
Dad continued to work at the 'Smith Toy Factory'. I never understood how or why Dad worked at a toy factory. It didn't seem too appealing to me but believe me if you could have seen my Dad then you would have understood why he worked at a toy factory. He was tall and lanky with brownish hair. (Thank goodness I took back after my Mom and had her black hair and green eyes, and a medium height)
Dad's legs were extremely long and I had to look up at him when he spoke. Dad was a 70s/80's freak and he always listened to music by the Beatles but his favorite singer was Dolly Parton. Naturally since he loved the 70s/80's he tried to dress like they did back then. His favorite pair of clothes was his checkered bell bottoms and blue button up shirt. He talked very loud and had a country twang to his voice. I must admit that I was embarrassed to be seen with him but my Dad would soon turn out to be the best friend I ever had.
The story starts in a small rural town in Georgia. My Dad and I lived in a house with black shutters and white siding. Our little house was between two neighbors, the Johnson family, and the Kenton family. We didn't see them much socially but we chatted every now and then. I was just arriving home from school dressed in my black tee-shirt and black jeans (I was into black back then obviously). With my black back pack slung over my shoulder I entered our house. Dad was already home and as soon as I stepped in he came running to me with a big smile.
"Hey Clay! Give me a hug!" he said grabbing me in an unwanted embrace.
"Dad, please, how many times do I have to tell you that I'm not a huggy person," I said.
"Oops, sorry. I guess I forgot," he said releasing me from his embrace.
"So what's for supper?" I asked slinging my backpack down on the floor.
"I made us a special tonight. Macaroni noodles grilled!" Dad said excitedly. \
"Macaroni grilled?" I asked with my eyebrows raised.
"Yeah. You see I saw this restaurant called 'Macaroni Grill', I've never eaten there but I thought, 'Hey that's a great idea!' So I bought a bunch of Macaroni and brought it home to grill," Dad said smiling.
I sighed heavily and shook my head sadly.
"What? What's wrong?" Dad asked.
"Dad, Macaroni Grill is just a restaurant. They don't literally grill macaroni. It's just called that," I said shaking my head as I turned and left the room leaving Dad speechless.
Later on that evening as I lay in my room on the bed staring up at the ceiling I smelled something burning. I jumped up from the bed and went into the living room. The burning smell grew stronger. Glancing over into the kitchen I saw that the back door that led out onto the small wooden porch was open. I ran and looked out the doorway. I saw Dad with his ridiculous white apron around his waist and his chef hat, standing in front of our little girl pouring a bag of macaronis onto the fired up grill.
"Oh my gosh! Dad what are you doing?" I yelled.
"I just thought I'd give grilling macaronis and two steaks a try but it has kind of gotten out of hand," Dad said trying to smack out the leaping flames that were now burning the steaks and macaroni, with his spatchula.
He finally managed to turn the grill off and the fire on it soon died down to a flicker. Smoke floated up into the air causing both of us to cough.
Mr. Johnson, our sixty-year-old neighbor yelled over at us from his backyard, "Hey Josiah! That food sure smells terrible. What's your specialty? Burnt offerings?" The old man burst out laughing at his lame joke. Dad sighed and we both went back inside. He threw away his melted spatchula and the rest of the macaronis, along with the burnt steaks.
"Well I guess we could order pizza," he said taking off his apron and chef hat.
"Sounds good to me. I'll call and order us some," I said leaving the room.
Soon we both sat around the table eating delicious cheese pizza from Pizza Hut. Dad seemed a bit disappointed though.
"Maybe I'll try that macaroni grillin' thing again," he said.
"Oh Dad, don't be stupid. You can't grill macaronis," I said rolling my eyes.
It was in that moment as I sat with my Dad at the table eating pizza that I wished Mom was back home with us. Perhaps if she had been there then Dad wouldn't have tried to grill macaronis, or maybe if she had been there then I might not have been so depressed and angry all of the time. I missed her a lot but I knew she would never be coming back. The life with my Dad would hold many odd adventures, many of which I would never forget. Yep, the future certainly looked bleak but I was going to try and get through it someway or another.
To Be Continued. . .