“Who’s the kid’s father?” I asked with a big, fat fucking smirk on my face, ready for some bullshit.
“Some kinda big deal out in
“That enough to keep them from collarin’ his ass?”
“I dunno. Prob’ly. All them
I took two steps up the sidewalk and spit in the gutter. “And then the little fuck gets to go home and sleep in his own house, when he should be cuffed to a fuckin’ bench thinkin’ about what a piece of shit he is.”
“I’m sure his pops is gonna tell him all about it on the ride home, especially after the fuckin’ scene he just made.”
“Why do you say that?” he asked.
“Because I think the problem is exactly the opposite. I think the kid acts like such a cocksucker because his old man never told him not to be like that. You only get to thinking you can curse somebody up and down in public if they’ve let you do it in private. I hate these fuckin’ cops’ kids, man, comin’ in here and droppin’ names like nothin’s gonna happen to them no matter what the fuck they do.”
“You’re a cop’s kid.”
“Yeah,” I said, sneering. “I’m just like these
“Oh, fuck yeah. Wake him up in the middle of the night ‘cause I’m drunk and just got myself jammed up with the fuckin’ cops? Are you shittin’ me? You got one chance with that motherfucker, and I think I used mine up when I was about three years old, man.”
Ray considered this for a minute. “Lemme ask you somethin’, then. How old were you when you first thought you could talk back to your father?”
“What do you mean by talkin’ back?”
“I’m talkin’ about when you thought you were big enough or tough enough to tell him to go fuck himself if he said something you didn’t like.”
“I never got the chance,” I said, “‘cause I really never thought I was at that level while he was alive.”
“How old were you when he kicked off?”
“Twenty or so.”
“What about now?” he asked. “You think you could get in his face now as an adult?”
“I dunno, man. The guy was seriously out of his fucking mind. Like, sick out of his fucking mind. I mean, physically I know I’d fuck him up at this point, but I don’t have his head for that kind of shit. If I’d have beat him up, I would’ve had to move pretty far away to avoid gettin’ a bullet in my head.”
“Yeah,” I said. “He was two different people. At home, he seemed like an angry old man even when I was a little kid. I only saw it a couple of times, but when he wasn’t around his family, he was a different guy and it was kinda fucked up, like when you see old guys actin’ like sick fucks and hittin’ guys with bats in mob movies, you know what I mean? It was like he got old but he never stopped doin’ the shit he did when he was in his twenties.”
“What about your mother?”
“What about her?”
“You ever talk back to her growin’ up?” he asked.
“Not really. Sometimes, but nothing serious. Whenever I got in an argument with my mother, it was about something stupid like bringin’ mud in the house or something, and if I had anything to say, I usually got smacked anyways.”
“Yeah, same with me.”
I waited for a group of customers to leave before I went on. “Now that I’m older, I don’t say shit to my mom. Not a word. I’ll roll my eyes if she starts goin’ off on me about something, which is rare these days, but I keep my mouth shut around her out of respect, you know?”
“That’s the best way to be. I’m like that with both my parents now.”
“What’s the point of getting into anything with them as an adult? The hard part’s fuckin’ over for them as far as we’re concerned. Now everybody’s just gotta worry about gettin’ old.”
“I never trust a guy that yells at his mother, anyway,” he said.
“Think about it. You really gonna trust somebody who talks bad to his mother? If a guy can turn on his mother, what the fuck you think he’s gonna do to you?”