Lies We Tell Our Fathers
My father and I sit in the garage. He curls thirty-five pounders. I watch.
The music cuts through the air, and I can barely hear him grunting.
He asks me, “do you think I’m a good dad?”
The music is still loud.
My father and I play foosball. A dimly lit lamp hangs over us.
He scores. I score. The game is tight. Our eyes gasp for air. We don’t blink.
I take the ball from him. He swears. I laugh. I shoot. I score.
We both win.
Outside we have a basketball hoop. The neighborhood kids and I play.
My father comes out to play with us. He and I on opposing teams,
the way it should be, the way we wanted it to be. I drive past my father, score.
All the kids cheer.
One night I hear my father tell my mother he loves her. I hear the wind blow too.
There’s a crow resting on a window somewhere, overlooking some water.
I hear my father kiss my mother. Waves lap against the glass. I look for the crow again.
But it’s gone.
We have a ritual cleaning of our well-water filter every six months.
My father screws in the filter with a wrench. It slips off the filter, striking my father
in the chest. It leaves a large purple bruise. I hold a bucket underneath. He swears.
A few droplets appear.
The music is still loud. He asks me again. I pretend I didn’t hear. Out beyond the garage,
a crow picks at an acorn. My father puts down the weights. He turns down the music.
It begins to rain. I stare out into a small puddle that begins to form. So?
Do you think so?
Nick Soluri is an undergraduate at Union College. His work has appeared in Five:2: One Magazine, Boston Accent, As It Ought To Be Magazine, Occulum, Ghost City Review, Wellington Street Review, The Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, and others. He tweets @nerkcelery