Jump to content
xisto Community
Sign in to follow this  

Chapter One - A Family Snapshot

Recommended Posts

I started writing this semi-autobiographical story, but started wondering if it's entertaining for anyone outside of my family. I know I still have to add the story arcs. Is first-person narrative a recipe for disaster? Thanks in advance for any critiques.2nd Street ZooA Day In The Life of the Zookeeperby Dan AndrewsChapter 1Breakfast ?Hey Dad, we?re outta milk!? I roll over to move my good ear against the pillow. Maybe if I didn?t hear it, it didn?t happen. But I resign myself to the acquired knowledge that Edward is just going to continue. My guttural groan is miraculously audible: ?Make waffles.? Eyelids back down, snooze achieved. ?We?re outta waffles.? Crap. (A much more vulgar word originated in my mind, but 25 years of fatherhood has created an involuntary filter between my brain and my mouth. Not that I haven?t overloaded it once in a blue moon?) I run through the kitchen inventory in my mind. The only thing I land on is leftover pizza. No, Andrews. Don?t be THAT lazy. Is 11 years old too young to learn to cook? Frozen waffles is about the extent of his training so far. I?ll have to think about it later. I should probably be getting up anyway. Sleeping in is always nice, but anything after 11 am is just sloth. I had 12 minutes before I was a sloth. ?Alright, alright. Shut your pie-hole. I?m getting up. You guys want pancakes or french toast? Go ask Nathan.? ?Nathan?s still asleep.? ?My God, the lazy pig! OK. Let?s give him 15 minutes, then we send in Mark!? Nathan is 13 and, obviously, adapting to the teenage lifestyle comfortably. All he needs in life is food, video games, a pillow and more food. My grandson Mark is an Energizer bunny disguised as five-year-old boy. With his azure eyes, wheat-blonde hear and plaintiff smile, he could probably destroy the Statue of Liberty and all of America would just say, ?Aww, that?s OK. Just don?t do it again. Li?l scamp!? On the walk to the kitchen, my bare feet pick up: a piece of cereal, a small patch of sugar?salt?sand?, and some non-descript chunk of something. But it was the exquisite agony of stepping on a tiny lego that drives me over the brink. ?Jesus Christ!? I shout, wiping off my left foot. ?Give me strength!? I add, to preclude any accusations of violating the Ten Commandments. ?Who the frack is scheduled to sweep this week?? ?You Dad!? ?Nuh-uh, Edward. You lie!? I said mockingly. But, of course, a glance at the schedule on the refrigerator door proved he was right. I grab the broom and do a quick two-minute sweep around the kitchen. Mark was watching TV in the family room. ?Hey Mark, pause that and go ask Nathan if he wants pancakes or freedom toast.? ?FREEDOM toast?? he asks with an astonished face. ?That?s silly, Pop-pop.? ?I?ll have Aunt Ruth explain it to you one day.? My mom?s oldest sister is undoubtedly the staunchest conservative in the family. We share lots of ?interesting? emails. ?Just ask if he wants pancakes or french toast.? He jumps up and scampers, oblivious to the two pieces of cereal that fall off his lap and onto the floor. ?Mark?? but it?s too late. I make a mental note to have him pick them up later. I walk down the hall in time to witness Mark body-diving on top of a heap of sheets and blankets on the bottom bunk bed.The heap squirms and moans, and a head pops out. Nathan initially looks surprised and angry, but, upon seeing Mark, gives in to a smile. Two arms pop out and begin tickling Mark under his ribs. ?Oh no!? Nathan shouts. ?It?s a Mark monster!? A noisy tickle fight ensues. ?Hey, Nathan,? I so rudely interrupt. ?What do you want to eat, pancakes or French toast?? ?French toast!? ?Did you eat yet, Mark?? Then I remember the cereal on his lap. ?Oh yeah. Never mind.? As I turn around, I shout, ?Hey Edward! What ?? He had been enjoying the show quietly behind me. I lower my voice. ?French toast OK?? ?Naw, I?d rather have pancakes.? ?Well I?m not making both?? ?It?s OK,? Nathan chimes in. ?I?ll have pancakes.? All I could do was turn and smile at him. A swell of pride fills me. Maybe I?m not doing so bad as a single father. I wish their Mom was still here to enjoy her kids, and her grandson, as I do in my mortal coil. In our later years, before she succumbed to cancer in August, 2002, we had serious issues that probably would have lead to us breaking up. Nonetheless, I still love her and know she?s watching from above. Mary has given me, and the world, four truly wonderful children. Jessica, 25, has her own family now, although we?re sharing a house. Her husband, Mike, has a maturity beyond his years. They share a soul-mate love that is undeniable. You already met their son Mark. The only member of the household you haven?t met is my second offspring, Matthew, 23, because he?s still asleep. He likes to set his own sleep-wake cycle. Chances are good he went to bed at 5 am. I think the dawn reminds him to go to bed.I don?t know if it?s a good or bad thing that he doesn?t exploit his male-model good looks ? tall, dark hair, almond eyes, strong cheekbones and disarming smile. He undoubtedly avoids a lot of temptation by being a strong fundamentalist Christian. Because I consider myself a liberal independent Christian, we share lots of ?interesting? conversations. Thanks to Jessica, Mike and Matthew, I?m still able to have a life. They have been a huge help, just watching the younger two so I can go out or even take short trips every once in while. But Matthew?s old enough to make his own breakfast, so I?ll let him sleep.(To be continued)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.