Family (Part XX)
By Pete Moss
Lying in bed. Spooned up with Dijay.
I can't sleep, but I don't want to get out of bed, ‘cause it's cold.
It's that damp ocean fog cold. I'm back in the Sunset, two blocks from Grannie's house where I grew up, living at Hollister Senior's house.
It's 4:30 am.
I can't sleep ‘cause the baby is kicking. He kicks night and day. We did the sonogram. It's a boy. A rowdy little fucker.
Sometimes Dijay lies on the bed and watches her belly ripple as the kid turns somersaults inside her.
Then Dijay is blowing in my ear.
"Can't sleep," she says. "C'mon, let's have sex."
"Jesus woman, that'll be what? 7 or 8 times in the last 24 hours."
Dijay doesn't pay attention to me. She's busy with her mouth and her hand.
I go along on auto pilot.
Since her belly has grown we've had to improvise some new positions. A couple of them are really not bad.
But I've become detached.
While we're having sex my mind will wander.
Dijay doesn't notice. She does her own thing, heaving and moaning and panting and grunting.
It's weird. Here I am engaged in intimate congress with someone I love, I do love her, really, at the same time I'm alone with my thoughts.
I'm working on a puzzle.
It's like this: Dijay will say she loves me. But most of the time she talks to me like I'm a retarded 3 year old. She's bossy and scoldy and super critical.
Makes it kind of hard to feel loved.
The really confusing part? She's a totally submissive kitten with Hollister Senior.
More confusing, since we moved in to his house she's gone all hyperdomestic, cooking and cleaning, even sewing little stuffed animals 'for the baby'.
She has like 4000 unanswered e-mails from her music scene contacts.
I can't help think of how she gave Winston Brown shit for quitting music.
And she wants to name the baby Hollister McElroy III.
We've had two big fights ‘cause she wants me to start calling Hollister Senior 'Dad'.
I better go also, she won't stop until I do. So I clear my head and let myself go.
Dijay feels me and after a few minutes we get off together, which I have to admit feels pretty good. Almost makes up for everything else.
Dijay rolls over and drops almost immediately into contented slumber.
I get up and throw on a robe and head into the kitchen, start to make coffee.
'Dad' comes into the kitchen.
"Can't sleep?" he says.
"Baby keeps kicking me. Dijay insists on pressing her belly into my kidneys when we in bed."
'Dad' laughs. "You hungry?"
"You drive, I'll buy. There's a 24 hour place on 19th."
I go in my room and throw on some clothes and grab the keys to the Packard.
The diner is crowded. There's cabbies and cops and truck drivers and guys in suits. The L Taraval rumbles by. Traffic whooshes on 19th Avenue.
We get a booth. Order coffee.
This is the 1st serious conversation I've had with this guy who thinks he's my dad.
Been living with him 2 weeks now.
"You know....we need to have some form of address for each other," he says.
"Yeah, 'hey you' gets kind of awkward."
"Your mom used to call me Holly, when she was happy with me. When she was trying to wheedle me she would call me Mr. McElroy."
"I don't think so."
"Or we could just cut the crap and call a spade a spade."
"I'll call you son and you call me dad."
I shrug my shoulders, "Allright yeah, what the hell, Dad."
"So....you want to hear about me and your mother?"
"You know, I'm kind of burnt out on this whole family drama. I do need to get a birth certificate though, so if you could just tell me where I was born, that'll do."
"I'd love to."
I wait, "So?"
"But I don't know. When your mother found out she was pregnant she took Carmen and split town. I'm pretty sure she went overseas, pretty far anyway. I didn't see her again for almost 2 years."
I groan loudly. "So for all you know I'm an illegal alien?"
"Something like that is entirely possible."
"You people..." I say.
"Your mother was very headstrong. But at least I eventually tracked you down and then let you and your girl move in."
"How are you and your little Mexican honey getting along?"
"How'd you know she's Mexican?"
"She's obviously not from India."
"Actually she's from Fresno. Her Dad is Mexican but her mom is Armenian."
"Whatever. It just seems like, welll......"
"She's kind of a bitch to me?"
"A little shrewish, maybe."
"Maybe even abusive?"
"I think we're on the same page."
"So what do you want to do with your life?" says Dad.
"Stick around, raise my kid with Dijay."
Dad sits back, folds his arms, stares at me.
"Seriously," I say.
"You think she's a bitch now, wait'll the kid gets here."
I drum my fingers on the table. I'm afraid Dad's got a point. "I wouldn't mind going to college, in LA, maybe. Thing I can't figure out is, you and Dijay get along great."
"I'll buy her off you."
"I'll buy her off you. How much you want?"
"She's pregnant you know."
"So I get a twofer."
"Geez.....Dad, I'll have to think this over."
"Of course. I'll give you 48 hours."