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(Excerpt From Facebook Ate My Marriage. Republished with permission from Hell Bent Press and the Author)
Chapter 29: Fairies and Other Necessary Fallacies
“I am going to kill these fucking cats!” reverberated through the house.
No, dear reader, it was not me shouting while rushing off to get peroxide to treat the multiple puncture wounds that William had left affectionately in both my thighs as I attempted to extricate her from my lap; that was the previous night. The bellow that emanated from the far side of the house came from none other than Bryce, the recently pierced and much offended eldest of the Lynn offspring. He had, while padding down the hall to his bathroom, found that the Raptors had laid a trap, or actually several: a large puddle of urine around which they had laid a minefield of feces. This Raptor project, showing both ingenuity and extreme malicious intent, was clearly an enterprise for which Gertrude could not be blamed, as he sleeps on the floor in my bedroom with the door shut. The door being shut is as much for Gertrude’s well being as my own, as the Raptors are inclined to prowl at night and a sleeping dog or human is always a welcome target for attack.
Bryce, returning late (“late” being defined as after 4 a.m.), went to bed and rose only when the call of nature beckoned. Groggy, without his glasses and not attentive to where he trod, I gather he slipped in the puddle, with his hands, arms, legs and feet striking the many strategically placed feces landmines. While Bryce did twist, swear, and utter words of disgust, the three Raptors did make an appearance to slash at him “playfully” – DeeAnn’s description of this peculiar habit – until an enraged, soaked and feces-stained Bryce appeared at my bedroom door knocking and demanding that I do something about the Raptors.
Not smiling, I told him to take a shower. I cleaned his hall, took a shower and went back to bed – it being a Saturday and having plans for the evening, I needed the sleep.
“WHAT THE FUCK!” The familiar voice of Bryce bellowed once again.
Glasses at hand, I found him in the kitchen seething before a scene of utter destruction. Tomato sauce, scrapped bits of pizza crust and a partially shredded box were all that remained of what had been a large half anchovies, half ham and pineapple pizza I had purchased for him the night before.
I set about cleaning up the mess.
“What happened?” he asked, anguished at the sight of the remains of his pizza being gathered from the walls and floor to be placed unceremoniously in the kitchen trash.
Looking at him, I realized it was time to tell him some of the facts of life that appeared to have escaped his attention. I had him sit down on the one chair not spattered by the carnage of the pizza.
“Bryce, you left the pizza out last night,” I said calmly as I continued to clean the kitchen.
“But it always used to get put away, when the family was here,” he said plaintively.
“No, it didn’t. That was me. I couldn’t sleep at night, so I would clean,” I explained as I scrubbed at a bit of tomato sauce that stuck fast to the wall. “Last night you wanted pizza, I ordered and paid for it, then I went to bed. You left and the Raptors got into it.”
“I hate those fucking cats!” he said emphatically. “Why don’t we ship them to Mom?”
“Because it would probably violate the PFA, and two, she has already said she won’t take them. She only wants Gertrude and Gildy,” I said, now crouching under the kitchen table to wipe down the more creative tomato sauce smears they had done and wondered if they had been watching a documentary on Jackson Pollock prior to this project.
“She can’t have Gildy,” Bryce snapped. “She’s my cat.”
I stopped cleaning. Bryce, who did not change cat litter, take out trash or apparently know how to run dishes, was claiming ownership and responsibility for the oldest cat, the one his mother had laid claim to. This did not bode well.
“Bryce, you remember when you asked me about Santa Claus?”
“Um…” he answered, clearly not liking where this was going.
“Yes, well, here is a little update: I am also the tooth fairy, kitty-litter fairy, pizza fairy, dishes fairy, meals-for-the-family fairy and dirty-clothes fairy. The only two things I have not turned my hand to in the land of fairy duties are that of ‘Fairy Godmother’ or shoe repair. I carried out these many and varied duties during the long periods of insomnia I experienced during your mother’s more interesting episodes. Now that your mother is gone, I am sleeping through the night and have turned in my fairy wings. I mention this as you will need to either grow wings of your own or live in your own filth. And if you decide to live in your own filth, be warned: I am also the Easter Bunny and you will not be getting any marshmallow chicks this year.”
“I know, Dad. Sorry. But I am hungry,” he said sheepishly.
“Macaroni and cheese is in the cupboard, milk and butter are in the fridge, clean pot is in the dishwasher. Have fun,” I concluded and marched off to take my second shower of the morning, having cleaned up the Raptor pizza attack.
For my readers, particularly the committed agnostics and atheists, the question of the necessity of childhood illusions, such as the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the clean-dishes fairy or the kitty-litter fairy may seem to be corrosive ideas to foster in young minds – comparable to the princess stories and not unlike the idea of teaching children that two and two equals one and one half, in terms of destroying the capacity for human reason. To which I reply: So what? Any species that climbed from the trees to watch small quadrupeds crap needs its fallacies; marriage, monogamy and inexplicably benevolent spirits who do not quite reach the level of god or gods, but do little things to make our lives more bearable are entirely necessary for the human condition we nominally identify as sanity. Piercing the 23-year-old Bryce’s remaining illusion of a “pizza fairy” and a “dish fairy” was not a pleasant thing to have to do. But I was fairly certain he knew about the kitty-litter fairy, as he has seen me change it. I do regret having to tell him about the Easter Bunny. I had hoped to wait until after he had his own kids to let him in on that one.
Text Copyright 2011 Cusper Lynn
Text Copyright 2011 Hellbent Press
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