Othello went to the pokey. He was stupid, vandalised and carroused, and was caught and tried and went to the Place For Bad Boys, and has to serve five days work crew, and community service.
I was all right, supportive and like that, and, when he was in the Big House I was all angst-y. “My son! Ah! My son! Lost, lost to a world where he is just another dissident, taken from his family, lying, alone in the dark, with no one to love him!”
Bridgette snickered. “We don’t know that….”
His 48 hours were, eventually, served (I think it took just about two days), and he climbed aboard a bus to come visit us for a bit. We collected him from the station and stopped at Red Robin for dinner, where the Muse of Clever Thoughts That Get My Ass Kicked visited me. I excused myself and went to the bathroom, and thence visited the hostess station up front. I passed a few pleasant moments with the staff there, and told them of my son’s terrible plight, and that he was just freed of it.
I told them something like this: “My son has been living with his mother and stepfather and, well, they sent him off to parochial school. Uniforms, short hair, school ties, like that. Well, my wife and I have just gotten him out of that, but we’d like to just sort of welcome him home a bit. I saw the balloons you’ve got for the kids, do you suppose you could have our waitress…?”
The wait staff was horrified. None of them knew what parochial school was. I told them it’s like a military academy with lots of bible study. Horror renewed, they suggested that they have a birthday sunday that is a freebie, and balloons, sure, since this is sort of special like a birthday. I visibly stifled a tear at their concern, and thanked them, smiling wanly through moving emotions that were fighting to play across my features. I am certain that each of them felt wonderfully altruistic when I left; they made me so happy, and for so little cost to themselves.
Heh, hee. Hee. Oh, let me rest a bit, to giggle.
[Giggling follows, with an explanation to Bridgette as to its cause]
Okay. Right. I rejoined my family, warm with the knowledge that I had done so much to make so many people feel good about themselves [giggling again], and that I’d done the Boy a good turn at the same time. I sort of prepped him for it, obliquely.
I told him stories. Allegories, pertinent to his particular situation in life, and illustrating high moral points that might instruct him in his behaviors, and make him a better person, and more worthy than before. I told him about going to a strip club with Lothario, where, insufficiently monied to hold the attention of the dancers, I had told the ladies that approached me that, if I’d had money, she (whoever she was at the moment) would have been my choice for a private dance, but my friend at the end of the table had just come on sabbatical from seminary school, and we were a little worried about him; he was drinking heavily and, ah, misbehaving. About half of the ladies went to cling to Lothario, each in turn, while the others stayed with me to pass the time, since I was so pleasant to them, and one even rubbed my shoulders. Othello followed the story, but failed to see how it applied to current events. Youth today. So slow.
I waxed a bit, telling Othello how horribly I felt for him, cast into durance vile, held apart from those who loved him (Bridgette snickered), fed only the lowest foods, and separated from the fair sex. He nodded somberly, and I pointed out that our waitress was a likely sort, pleasant to have about in a sort of ornamental way. And that she seemed to think he was cute — he got just soooo much of her attention.
And, by the way, son, I told her you’d just gotten sprung from parochial school. Oh, here she is.
She brought him a sunday, and balloons, and welcomed him home, touching his shoulder and gushing, sighing deeply as she talked about “what you’ve been through!” She paused, and looked puzzled. “What is a parochial school?”
Othello foundered a bit, tried to look embarassed and flustered and pleased and daggers at me all at once without cuing the waitress. Bridgette, who had been trying hard to not giggle (and encourage me), left for the bathroom where I suspect (although she won’t admit it) she had a damned good laugh. Othello failed to rise up with a suitably glib story, so I stepped in and told her it was like a Roman Catholic concentration camp with ugly ties. Her pity was manifest — she was obviously a girl who felt things deeply — and she touched Othello some more. His shoulders must have been all a-tingle.
She left to pursue her undoubtedly bright career in food service, and Othello glowered at me. “I will get even, you know.”
“For what? Helium balloons? Free ice cream? The attentions of a pretty girl? Fine, I agree, I have sinned beyond the reach of remorse. Do your worst, as you see the need. Heh. I am remorseful, you know. Hm. Hee. Ha, parochial school, gawd, I kill me.”
Bridgette returned, commandeered some of the whipped cream from the dish, and notified me that I am not allowed to go to the bathroom by myself anymore.
I chuckled all the way home, a half hour drive. I’m pretty much incontinent with it now. Parochial school.
Oh, I love being me. I truly do.
Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry