“Clean your fucking room.”
It’s really not a lot to ask. I just want the floor to be visible, the walls the color I had them painted, the bed made with sheets that don’t carry weeks of your sweat. I want your clothes in the laundry basket, your trash in a bag, your books and games stacked and maybe alphabetized, if you’re feeling saucy. I want it odor neutral, clean clothes in drawers, electronics distributed neatly, closet door closed.
I want your eyes on the job listing, I want your resumé out there, I want that degree framed and on your wall, its picture on the internet. I want it to be your wall, not my wall, I want your loans paid, I want you in school, I want you paying for school, I want you working, I want you working for more than minimum wage.
I want to handicap horses, I want to drink Smirnoff, I want you paying rent, I want you paying utilities. I want you to be like your sisters, I want you to get off your high horse. I want to play Hold ’em, I want you moved out, I want you to give back. I want you to thank me, I want you to prostrate yourself before me. I want you to show initiative, I want you to show drive, I want you to do what I did when I was your age. I want you to clean your room.
You’re tired? You don’t get to be tired. You play video games when you’re not working. That’s your poor decision-making. You dealt with asshole customers? I deal with you. Don’t look at me like that. Stop staring at me. You’re twenty-three years old. Act your age. Get a job, get a life, stop sitting on my credit, squatting in my house, swallowing my food. You graduated a year ago, it’s time for you to do something. It’s time for you to have done something. Clean up from dinner, I’m going to go shower.
The bottle’s down a fourth today. It was down a fourth yesterday, too, and now it’s a half. Tomorrow’s three-quarters, then empty. Twenty bucks, ‘nother bottle. Beer to complement, snacks to offset. Pot’s out, but “Spice” is in. Drink, drank, drunk, drive and rave. Shot of vodka for the road, toke for the night.
I think you drink too much. You know too much about beer, so you must be drinking too much. You’re going to be a fucking alcoholic. You’re going to be an addict. I’ve been doing it longer, I have a better tolerance, it’s safer for me. Who the fuck needs to know about beer? That’s stupid knowledge, useless like video games. They’re all the same, why play the new ones? Why spend your money? What do you get out of it?
Why do I race horses? Because it’s fun. It’s okay, I never bet enough to matter if I lose. Where do I get the money? Fuck you, I worked for years to support this family. Your mom can indulge me a little. Poker? Same deal.
What are you still doing here? Go. Get out. I’m done taking care of you. I don’t need the extra weight around my neck. Clean your fucking room.