[The main character has visited his 12-year-old son in the boy’s room as he’s preparing to go to a female classmate’s birthday party. The kid does not know what to take her for a present.]
“Well, you’re probably wanting to avoid something too personal like jewelry, right? Might send the wrong message?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, do you like this girl?” I sat on his bed and he stood holding the same pair of jeans he’d had since I arrived.
“I don’t know. You mean like…like her?”
“I, uh…think so.”
“I mean, she’s nice and stuff.”
“Okay. I think I get it. If I can correctly decipher your coded phrasing, I think you’re saying she’s cute, single, and you want to let her know you like her, but since the whole class will be there, you’re afraid to announce that to the world, mostly because you are insecure that she will not reciprocate the same feelings.”
He stared at me. “What?”
“Nothing. What about a gift card?”
The Sunday morning before we took Liam to camp, Val and I had had a discussion concerning the rap music Liam had purchased with a gift card he received for his birthday.
“Val, let me just read these lyrics to you. Perhaps you don’t know what our son listens to these days.”
“I know,” she said, “but is it really that much different than when we were kids? The magazines are calling that artist a genius.”
“Hon. This guy has a song called ‘Rape My Dick.’”
“Oh. Well, I’m sure it’s no big deal.” She returned to her much-more-important gossip magazine.
Then I went to his room and found him trying to set the world record for slowest packing job ever.
“So, son. I’ve read through some of the lyrics of your favorite song. And I quote, ‘Come on, come on. Come on, bitch/Come on, come on. Rape My Dick.’ Poetic. It may be copyright infringement though, son. I feel like that may have been lifted from A. R. Ammons…no wait. Rita Dove. Definitely a Dove.”
“Who are those people?”
“Dad. You know I don’t really care for the lyrics, right? I mean, is it that much different than what you liked when you were my age?
I hated it when the teamed up without my knowledge.