Another day where I wanted to write something good and life shits on me.
My dad called and asked to borrow $20. Again. He borrowed $20 last week after finally paying me the $200 he owed me with his stimmy check/BidenBux™. I don’t mind borrowing my dad money because he pays me back. It might take awhile, but he’s good with his debt. My mom on the other hand…
I checked my wallet and I had seven $1 bills on me; this is not $20. I didn’t say anything about going to the ATM because I figured he’d find out soon enough. He showed up, I hopped in the passenger seat, and told him I didn’t actually have $20 so a trip to the ATM was on the itinerary. And yes I made him drive me there because I’m doing him a favor so he can work for his money. I always try to have $60 cash on me at all times to make these random, “can I borrow some money” situations easier, but no one is perfect.
We get to the ATM and there are two cars in front of us. The first dude left, circled around and parked in the parking lot. I’ve seen many people do this at the ATM and don’t really give a shit what they’re doing. My dad on the other hand: “What’s he parked over there for?” I said I didn’t know and continued to jam out to Poison’s Talk Dirty to Me; it’s their best song. Poison can fuck right off — I despise hair metal from the ’80s — but that song is a fucking bop. “Do you think he put something on the machine to steal people’s information?” No, I really doubt that. Who the fuck would install something on an ATM in broad daylight and then sit forty feet away? These people are sneaky — jail time isn’t fun and defeats the purpose of robbing people — and clever. They’re not going to sit there and manually steal shit. If you’ve programmed a device to steal info from cards you probably also programmed a ‘memory’ feature where it just, you know, stores the information for later.
I also didn’t have to try very hard to know what he was really thinking: “I bet this guy is going to sell/buy drugs.” Everyone on the West Side of Rockford in a parking lot is looking to buy drugs. Obviously. Luckily, he didn’t say this so I didn’t have to cringe and wonder what the hell happened to him over the years.
The second guy was fucking around doing his thing at the ATM and dad called him a “stupid motherfucker” for some reason. Not to him directly, but said it aloud in the car. For what reason, I don’t know, but shit, how dare this guy use the ATM? We’re also sitting in line waiting to use the ATM so what’s the big deal dad? Just let me listen to Poison for fucks sake.
I didn’t care so gave him my card and told him my PIN. (Never say ‘PIN number’ by the way. PIN stands for personal identification number so saying ‘PIN number’ is like saying personal identification number number. It’s the same with ‘ATM machine’; the M in ATM is already for machine, you don’t need to say it twice!) He fucks something up so I get out, walk around, and get the money for him.
He then proceeds to circle around and park in the exact same spot that the first guy was parked in. You know, the guy stealing card info/dealing drugs. I became excited; we’re we going to steal some shit or buy some drugs? Sadly, no. His car was overheating.
So there we were standing outside with the hood up looking like two basic white dudes looking at a car engine. All we needed was a few beers and grease all over us and we’d be a stereotype. He pops the cap off the coolant reservoir, pours in the remaining coolant he had (it wasn’t enough), and slams the hood. We were on our way.
I gave him the remaining coolant I had in the garage. I don’t even know why we had two bottles, maybe I’m just obsessive about having fluids stocked, but it was nice to get rid of them. Dad opened the hood, filled up the rest of the coolant reservoir, and pondered what the hell was wrong with his car. He recently changed the thermostat so it wasn’t that. He asked me what I thought was wrong and after ten seconds of silence I said, “I have to think about it.” I was serious too; let me mull over the problem for a few hours, let my brain percolate it in my subconscious. Let me sleep on it, maybe I’ll have a dream where the solution is obvious. Hell if I know what it is currently; I hate cars. They’re complicated and fixing them is bullshit.
Sometimes I wonder when my parents went off the rails. Maybe they’ve always been this way and I’ve never noticed. Maybe I needed to get away from them and have my own unique personality and life before I realized how flawed they are? As a teenager I saw my parents as adults, people that have their shit together and have life pretty much figured out, and sure I complained at the time about how fucking stupid they were but it was mostly me being a stock, basic, edgy teenager. Somewhere between then and now my view of them has changed. They don’t have a fucking thing figured out! I don’t either, but I’m further along in having shit figured out than they do. When did I become a more functional adult, even with all my fuckups and issues, than they are?
When did my dad get so paranoid about strangers? When did he become scared of every single thing in the world? When did he start to see evil everywhere? Does he see a different world than I do? Is he living in an alternate reality? I saw people at the ATM getting money for whatever the fuck they’re getting money for — I don’t really care — and he sees threats. When did my dad’s health spiral out of control, and why? Why doesn’t he have a job and why can’t he support himself? Health issues obviously, but why doesn’t he give a shit about his health? Why doesn’t he want to fix anything in his life? Why’s he so passive and willing to live in his shitty current state? Why does he have no will to improve or be proactive? Why won’t he just go see a damn therapist for once? He doesn’t seem like the dad I had a decade ago and that is both confusing and scary. It’s hard not to reflect this back on yourself; what if I lose my fucking marbles in ten or twenty years? What if I go off the rails and stop making sense? What if I stop being a dad around the kids and turn into a kid myself where they have to support me and my fuckups? I don’t want that to be me.
Shit, that got deep at the end. Thanks for reading.
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