This kid swaggers into my room with a few sheets of paper in hand. He’s around 13, fair skinned, shaggy brown hair, he can’t weigh more than a hundred ten. I think I can take him. His eyes are golden brown, intelligent and mischievous. He wears a pair of thick rimmed 1950’s Clark Kent glasses. Oddly enough, he keeps calling me ‘Dad’. I can’t possibly be this kids father though. First of all I’m not old enough to have kids. I still pass down the toy isle every time I go to Walmart. I watch cartoons. Read comics. Pull girls by the pigtails and then run. I’m no ones father. But besides all of those reasons, this kid is too good looking to be mine. Not that he doesn’t have some awkwardness about him. But there’s a bit of dashing handsomeness there that makes me jealous. A budding confidence that doesn’t belong to my gene pool. No, he can’t possibly be my child. He is the enemy.
His first mistake was waking me up during my siesta. I’d just come home from work and polished off half a roll of raw cookie dough. It was time for my evening nap. His second mistake was waving papers in my face. I snatched them away and reached for a pen so he’ll go away. There wasn’t a pen in my bed, which was odd. Only a box cutter…also odd.
“What have you done with my pen?” I accused, filling my words with as much accusatory venom as one can muster after being roused from a diabetic comma.
“There’s a pen right here, dad.”
“So you admit taking it!” I rip it out of his hand and begin to scrawl my signature across the bottom. I purposely misspell my last name so that none of this will hold up in court.
“Read it dad.”
“Pfffft…I gave up reading for lent.”
He won’t leave me alone though. He keeps imploring me to read…stuff. That’s the thing with having kids who couldn’t possibly be you’re kids, they always want you to read things. This little girl who claims to be my daughter used to bring me a dozen pages to sign every day. If she’d truly been my child she’d have learned to forge my name long ago and I told her so.
‘Read it’, he keeps saying. Read it read it read it. I’ve finally had enough. I throw him on the bed and begin to tickle him mercilessly.
“I’ll read it!” I shout. “I’ll read it with my fist! Is that what you want? Will that make you happy?”
I wrestle him till we’re both out of breath. Unfortunately this hasn’t deterred him in the slightest. He won’t leave me alone. So in an effort to get this kid away I glared at the page for a moment or two, making a concerted effort to not read it just out of spite. Yet a few stray words manage to slip into my addled brain regardless.
“It says something about Quiznos.” I mumble.
“What? No, ‘Quiz Bowl’ dad.” Then he points to his name which has been highlighted.
“What’s wrong? Subway not good enough for you?”
“No dad, I’m in ‘Quiz Bowl’. I’m one of only eight kids in the school to have gotten picked.”
I was terrible in school. Another strike against this imposter who claims kinship with me. He’s got another beating coming. I throw him down again tickling and beating him stupid all the while screaming, “Five! Five! Five dollar foot longs!”
Those people at Quiznos are so arrogant. So cocky. Just because their sandwiches taste good and they’re not cold and stuff they think they’re so much better than Subway. Now children who claim to be the spawn of my loins (but who have absolutely no proof) have apparently joined their ranks. What is this world coming to?
Finally the kid leaves. I’m exhausted. Drained emotionally and mentally. But fortunately there’s still half a roll of cookie dough in the fridge. I gorge myself on Pillsbury goodness letting the bliss of a sugary overdose purge my soul of all doubt and worry. I get a glass out of the cabinet. You can’t eat three pounds of raw cookie dough without the ice-cold lactation of bovines to wash it down. And then I see it. An empty milk bottle in the trash can. I fall to my knees and begin to sob. He drank it all. The little bastard managed to get in the final blow. He drank all the fucking milk. Maybe he is my son after all.