Life of a Writer: Glimpses of a Father

I lay across my bed reading a book laid on the floor next to the bed. Hearing a harrumphy throat clearing, I sat up and tilted my head questioningly at my father in the doorway. He walked in and sat next to me on the bed, clasping his hands together, staring at the floor. I copied his body language without thinking, dreading what my mother had sent him to tell me. Well—he began—I know you’re a teenager now. Yeah—I responded. Shifting, adjusting his pants, rubbing his beard, he tried again—I just want you to know what’s going on, you know, with boys and all. I crossed my arms and narrowed my eyes before assuring him—Daddy, it’s not like I’m dating anyone; the boys in this town don’t like me. He looked at me funny and said—I betcha some boy does like you, but he’s just shy, cuz you know, you’re a pretty girl. My laughter surprised him, and I shook my head as though he was clueless. Boys in my school saw me only as a target. Well, in any case—he told me as he again stared at the floor—one day you’ll like a boy, and then things will happen. What things, Daddy—I asked, appreciating the realization—things like threesomes and fetishes and maybe adult toys. Good lord—he hollered as he jumped halfway to the door and inquired loudly—where the hell did you learn that shit. I couldn’t help grinning as I answered—Daddy, we have cable; you don’t need to tell me about sex.