Every 7 year old kid wants
something good for Christmas, and this particular year I wanted an
Xbox 360 ATV Off-Road Xtreme Bundle Kit 500 GB. My dad was well aware
of this and told me he'd buy it, but he told me there was a catch.
If he was to buy my young heart's only desire, the Xbox, we would
have to use it to "bond", he told me. Usually we'd just
play catch in the yard but apparently he's been looking into gaming
for a while and thought I could teach him.
A little background on my father is necessary before I continue
this frightful story. My father is a rotund man with a harsh, tan,
Greek face. At the time he was just turning 40, but he'd never really
celebrated a Christmas before, and no one ever thought to buy him any
gifts. I know, it's sad, but as the provider for his household his
entire life there wasn't much I could give him except whatever form
of compassion he would take from me. He wasn't a hugger, didn't like
to be hugged, but he knew I loved him.
The coming Christmas would be my first official "Christmas"
as well, we just never really had the money for the whole tree,
feast, presents set up. I was usually lucky if I got some batteries
for my old game boy color, but then they'd just run out within the
week and I'd be left to pretend to play it until next Christmas.
This year was a little bit different because my mother and father
separated, and I moved out of a house and into a cheap apartment with
my father. So my father was able to save enough money for the whole
"shebang" he said - he really liked that word.
By the time Christmas Day was inching near I was giddy with
excitement, and my father started to become more jovial than normal
as well. My father is very hard to talk to, very stone faced, very
reserved. I'd never seen him act so gleeful before that Christmas
week, and it was almost as if he was regressing in some strange way.
His tan harsh face was stretched in a constant smile, and when he
relaxed his face it looked like a broken in catcher's mitt.
He kept calling me weird juvenile names (albeit in a completely
joking manner) like doofus, butt head, fart licker, cheese sniffer,
paint eater, water head, four eyes, train tracks, faggot, sock
sucker, and other ones I can't recall. And as Christmas approached
the names only got more juvenile: doodybutt, poopyhead, dumperdink,
weenylicker, fartface. The night before Christmas his whole demeanor
seemed to shift.
"Go sleepy doodybreath" was the only thing he said to me
the entire Christmas Eve day. Anytime I tried to make conversation he
would just shake his head, look at the ground, stick is lower lip out
like he was sad, and say "go sleepy.” I went to bed early that
When I awoke it was Christmas Day, and boy was I ready to go
off-roading in the Brazilian mountains, triple backflipping with my
very own virtual ATV. But when I got to my Christmas tree I noticed
the packaging strewn all over the floor, everywhere, like some rabid
animal had gotten to it. As I approached the main living room I could
hear the faint hissing of our 32" classic tube TV, with music
coming from it as well.
I then saw what looked to be a giant toddler sitting on the living
room floor, wearing a race car onesy, hypnotized by the TV and
twiddling his toes underneath the onesy in a frenzy as he performed
triple-backflips in the jungle mountains of Brazil.
Without taking his eyes off the screen he said "hey papa can
you make me hot-cokey?". His thumbs continued to fiddle with the
controller, and I saw him do a quadruple spinning backflip on screen,
scoring massive points.
I slowly walked over to whoever it was, stood between him and the
TV and looked down at him.
It was my father, the tan Greek man, wearing the race car onesie,
with his chest hair poking out of the top just above the zipper. I
could see his golden cross necklace poking out a little bit and
shining a shimmering light. His face was completely the same but
completely different, if that makes any sense - his aura had changed.
His eyes were brighter than I'd ever seen them before, he had always
looked so depressed before, so dead in the face - not anymore.
"Papa you're in the way!" He yelled at me.
That's when I got a sinking feeling in my chest, the same one I
felt that time I got stung by a bee playing soccer and went into
anaphylactic shock, where a sense of overcast doom moves in like some
wicked weather system - something was seriously wrong.
I made a beeline for the only door to the apartment but I was
quickly grabbed by my father. He gave me a big bear hug and turned me
away from the door.
"I love you so much papa" he said as he swung me around,
squeezing the life out of me. "Now make me some hot-cokey!"
He let me go and I stood completely motionless in disbelief at my
situation. The child-like quality in my father's face then left for a
"Hot-cokey." He said sternly, and resumed playing his
I mustered up the strength to say something.
"Dad" I said with a shaking, teary voice "you're
He didn't turn around.
"Dad, there's something wrong with you and you're scaring
me." I said.
Then he turned around slowly, his head was shaking. He looked at
me with pain in his face, tears streaming from his eyes and sweat
from his forehead.
"Please l-leave." He said, straining his voice. I stood
there watching him, unable to follow as I was in shock.
"Son! Please leave!" He yelped, voice cracking.
With that final command I left, went to my mom's house, and I
haven't seen him since. We've tried to contact him in multiple ways.
When we send emails we get weird rambling replies back. I even sent a
letter to him once and he sent me his golden cross necklace, the
letter he wrote starts off normal but trails off.
Here is the only legible part of his letter:
"Son I can't possibly begin to explain and if I could you
would never understand, please take my necklace as a reminder of how
I was before cause there's doody in my but mr and it's all squashed
up and I don't have anyone to change my diapees please come back home