The Happy Homemaker: "Quite the Perfect Blandship" and "A Bruised Face and a Sad Heart"

posted Apr 21, 2014, 7:47 AM by Terrence Moss   [ updated Apr 21, 2014, 7:47 AM ]

I inadvertently started a new story series on my blog that began with a rather amusing but improbable imagining of me as a husband and father. So now I’m re-running them here for your re-viewing pleasure.

#34 – “Quite the Perfect Blandship”

"Pierpont! What happened!?" I asked in near horror as he approached the car with a bruised face.

Pierpont opened the car door, climbed into the passenger side seat, closed the door and put his seat belt on. "Nothing. I want to go home."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. I just want to go home."

"Ok. We'll go home," I said.

I pulled the car around to the front of the school, put on my hazard lights, got out of the car, walked around to Pierpont's side and opened the door.

"Get out. You don't have to tell me what happened, but I'm going to find out."

"I thought we were going home?"

"We are. After. Now get out of the car."

"Where are we going?"

"You're going to Kingdom Come if you don't get out of this car and stop asking questions when you don't want to answer any yourself."

Pierpont mumbled something under his breath as he unfastened his seat belt and climbed out of the car.

"You can mumble all you want to," I told him. "But don't let me hear anything."

I took him by the hand and marched through the front doors of the school and into the main office.

"Long time no see, Mr. Moss!" Sally said excitedly -- before seeing Pierpont's face. "What happened?!"

"Hi, Sally. That's what I'd like to know."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Moss, but we know nothing about this. No one reported it and no one was sent down here about it."

"Why not?"

"I'm not sure, Mr. Moss. Let me get Mr. Collins."

"Thank you."

Sally rushed into Mr. Collin's office. I knelt down in front of Pierpont.

"Will you please tell me who did this to you?" I asked.

Pierpont fought back tears but didn't answer.

"Hello, Mr. Moss," Mr. Collins said.

I stood up and showed him Pierpont's face. "Hello, Mr. Collins. I picked up my son today with his face looking like this."

Mr. Collins peered over the desk to get a better look at Pierpont's face. "What happened?"

"That's what I'd like to know."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Moss, but I know nothing about this."

"Why not? How is it that two kids can fight or one kid can pound the hell out of another kid but no one notices? Are there not enough adult eyeballs here to cover the school grounds so that these things don't go unnoticed? Are there not enough cameras around with which to surveil these rugrats and make sure they're not sneaking off to go kick each other's asses? Is it a tax dollar issue? Do you need more tax money? I will gladly donate this tax money to make sure that I don't have see my kid's face looking like this ever again. Or maybe I should just hire him a personal bodyguard. I'm not beyond that. Or better yet, I should probably just start dropping in again -- only this time every day instead of every week. What do you suggest I do here?"

"Mr. Moss, I don't have a report of the incident. So unless he can tell me who did this, then there's nothing I can really do."

"Fair enough. Pierpont, tell Mr. Collins who did this."

Pierpont looked down at the ground. "Jake," he said quietly.

"I'm sorry, we can't hear you," I said.

"Jake," Pierpont repeated.

"Jake?" I asked. "Jake who?"

"Jake Jake."

"As in your best friend Jake?"

"Yes."

"As in the Jake who comes over for dinner and spends the night?"

"Yes."

I knelt back down in front of Pierpont. "Are you kidding me?"

"No."

"Why would he do this to you?"

Pierpont shrugged.

"Do you realize how much of a lunatic this makes me look in front of your principal?" I asked in a whisper.

"A Jake Thomas was in here earlier today," Mr. Collins said. "Is that the Jake in question?"

I stood and smiled at Mr. Collins sheepishly. "Yes. That's the one. He and Pierpont are...um...best friends."

"Clearly. Is there anything else you'd like me to do, Mr. Moss?"

"No, Mr. Collins. Thank you for your time. Sally...and Gary, it's nice to see you two again. I'll send over a gift basket of brownies and cookies for your time and trouble. How does that sound?" I said as I slowly backed out of the office with Pierpont in tow, turned around and made a quick exit out the front door of the school.


#35 – “A Bruised Face and a Sad Heart” 

"Hey sweets," I said to Bradley as he walked into the house.

"Hey love," he replied, walking into the kitchen where I was preparing dinner to give me a kiss.

"So...which Pierpont situation do you want to handle tonight?" I asked, placing a meatloaf into the oven.

Bradley hung his head. "There's always a situation with that boy."

"Well, without those we wouldn't have a show," I joked.

"What are my choices?"

"Well, there's the CD and there's bruised face. Both somehow involve Jake."

"I see. What's the CD situation?"

"Well, Pierpont brought home a CD from school today that he borrowed from Jake. I heard him listening to it. The music was great, the lyrics...not so much. I asked Pierpont who the artist was and did some research into King Glory. Apparently he's the hippest of the hoppest in the hip-hop world."

"Am I going to need a glass of wine for this?" Bradley asked.

I went to the cupboard and pulled out to two wine glasses. Taking my hint, Bradley took a bottle out of the refrigerator and I handed him an opener.

"King's big hit right now is the bouncy, '...As Long As She's Got Some Big Tit-tays' -- the refrain of which I kept hearing Pierpont repeat over and over, which probably dashes your hopes of having a gay son," I teased as Bradley handed me the opened bottle and I poured two glasses of wine. "Then there's the future classic, 'Throw Your Panties on the Stage', the mindful 'Pull Her Hair', the subtle 'Go Down', the song trombo of 'Smack It' and 'Tap It' and 'Cup It', the poignant 'You Could If You Really Wanted To But Let's Just Try It Anyway', an extended cover of 'Beautiful Dreamer' and a remix of 'Get Off the Lord's Bus If You Aint Got Correct Change'."

Bradley took a swig of wine. "Ok...so what's the bruised face situation?"

"Well, I picked up Pierpont from school today to find that his face had been bruised pretty badly. After taking him to the main office to get some answers as to why, I found out that the fists of fury belonged to his supposed best friend Jake -- whom he still invited to come by this evening so they could listen to the King Glory CD together."

"That seems quite incongruous."

"I agree. But at least it gives us a chance to talk to Jake about a few things. So which of today's Pierpiont situations do you want to handle?"

Bradley finished off his glass of wine. "I'll talk to the fists of fury."

"Fine. He'll be here in half an hour for dinner -- oh yes, we get to feed him too."

******************************************

Bradley, Pierpont, Jake and I were finishing up dinner when Bradley and I looked at each other and nodded.

"Alright boys," I said. "Pierpont, please go up to your room. Jake, please go into the living room. We want to talk to you -- together...but separately."

Pierpont and Jake looked at Bradley, then to each other, then to me and then back to each other.

"But we want to listen to a CD," Pierpont reminded me.

"It's not going to disintegrate in the next fifteen minutes," I told him.

"I just want to talk to Jake about a few things first," Bradley explained. "I'll send him up afterwards. Now go."

Pierpont and Jake slowly left the table. Pierpont trudged upstairs while Jake walked into the living room as if he was about to face a firing squad.

"I'll clear the table and then I'll go up and talk to the boy."

"Good luck," Bradley teased as he got up from the table and headed toward the living room. "I'll go talk to the other boy."

****************************

According to Bradley because, of course, I wasn't entirely there...

Bradley walked into the living room to find Jake sitting rather small on the couch as if he knew he was in some sort of trouble, but still managed a cool, calm and collected demeanor about him. 

"That was quite a number you did on my son's face," Bradley said as he sat down in a nearby recliner. 

"I'm sorry about that," Jake replied. 

"I thought he was your best friend."

"He is."

"So why would you do something like that to someone you call your best friend?"

Jake shrugged.

"That's crap. You're not an animal. You know why you did something or you can figure it out -- so either start talking or start figuring."

Jake sat silently with his head lowered for a few minutes, unable to look at Bradley. I presume he was hoping Bradley would somehow go away or that he'd be able to escape through the couch back home and into his bed.

"I kissed him," Jake whispered.

This was my cue.

"That CD isn't going to unlisten to itself," I said, tiptoeing through the living room and up the stairs as if I could somehow walk by without being noticed.

********************************

I opened the door to Pierpont's room and heard him listening to the CD again, bobbing his head to the funk beats influenced by old school R&B.

"That's quite a sound," I stated.

"Yeah, I like it," Pierpont replied. 

I pulled out Pierpont's desk chair and sat down. "Have you paid any attention to the lyrics?" I asked.

"Yeah. I don't know what a lot of it means so I just listen to the music."

"Interesting. What would you say if I told you I didn't want you to listen to this CD anymore?"

"Why?"

"Let's just say I'm glad you don't understand most of what they're saying on it."

"Why?"

"Because, at best, they're being very disrespectful to women."

Pierpont thought about this for a moment. "But I really like it."

I nodded my head in mild disappointment even though I didn't expect him to give up the CD all that willingly. "I'm assuming you mean the CD and not its disrespectful nature."

"Is it really that bad?"

"That depends. Would you like it if it someone was being disrespectful to your friend Liana?"

"No."

"Would you like it if someone was being disrespectful to you?"

"No."

"Do you still want to keep that CD?"

"Yes."

I had to chuckle at that.

"Let me make a deal with you: you have the liner notes. I want you to read each line of the lyrics for each song on this CD. Write down what you think they mean and we'll discuss it. Then if you still want to continue listening to the CD, I won't stop you. But I'm only giving you a week to do this before I just take the CD away from you outright. Deal? Or no deal?"

Pierpont reviewed these terms in his mind in hopes of finding a loophole. "Deal," he replied begrudgingly.

****************************

According to Bradley because, of course, I wasn't entirely there...

"In my experience, it's usually the kissee that does the punching, not the kisser....care to explain?"

Jake shrugged his shoulders.

"Were you embarrassed by his reaction?"

"Maybe," Jake said softly.

"And perhaps even a bit hurt?"

"I guess."

"Did you think Pierpont might not want to be your friend anymore?"

Jake looked up at Bradley, fighting back tears and trying to maintain his resolve.

"Come here," Bradley told Jake, who hesitated a bit before getting up off the couch and walking over to the recliner where Bradley was sitting. "I imagine there's a lot going on in that head of yours and you probably are at a loss as to how to process it all. But from now on, I'd much rather you come talk to me or Mr. Moss than take it out on your best friend's face. Is that understood?"
 

Jake nodded and then Bradley pulled him into a hug. Jake wrapped his arms around Bradley's neck and rested his head on his shoulder. Bradley smiled as he felt that shoulder wettening under a stream of silent tears. 

I came back downstairs as they were coming out of their embrace. I saw the tears in Jake's eyes. "Bradley, I just asked you to talk to the boy."

Bradley rolled his eyes and shook his head, but otherwise ignored my comment. "How about you go upstairs and apologize to Pierpont while I talk to Mr. Moss," he said to Jake.

"And next time use gloves so your fists don't leave as many marks," I said to Jake as he walked by me and ran up the stairs.

"We did good tonight," Bradley said as he got up, grabbed me by the hand and led me over to couch.

"We do good every night we don't kill that kid," I joked as I sat down. "Which is why we're not adopting or in any way having a second child."

Bradley stretched out with his head in my lap. "I wouldn't have it any other way now that we have another half a handful with Jake."

"I know he's nine, but is there anything we should be reading into about that kiss?" I asked.

"I hope not. Not yet, anyway. What would his mother say?"

"I'm not sure. I just hope she isn't one of those who would blame us for 'influencing' him."

"Mine refused to acknowledge it until I told her outright."

"Mine told me to stay in the closet until she was ready. Now she's borderline PFLAG."

"I love your mother. She's so entertaining."

"Oh. Yeah. Totes. She's a regular Joan Rivers," I said as dryly and flatly as possible.

"Did Pierpont give up the CD?"

"Not yet. But he will. I turned it into a homework assignment. I give it two days."

Bradley scoffed. "I give it two minutes."

Bradley and I sat quietly for a few minutes as I played with his hair. Then I saw something fall past the living room window. Since Pierpont's room is directly upstairs, I assumed it was the CD. [When I checked it out the following morning, it was.]

"You win," I said to Bradley. 

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