Twilight cast long shadows across my parent’s back yard in Florence, South Carolina, as we sat on the screened porch, sipped Perrier and watched the sprinkler arc. Forward and back. Forward and back. A watery path that dotted the surface of the bird feeder and my father’s Man Shed.
Linda, that sprinkler better not be wetting my building. I don’t need no termites out there. Go move it.
Now Roy, if you’re so worried about that sprinkler and some termites, you go move it.
You mean to tell me you’re gonna make me get up on the eve of my birthday and move that thing? Huh? You see how she treats me?
Don’t look at me, Dad. I’m not moving it.
Forward and back. Forward and back.
When we decided to leave, Dad disappeared. The light blinked on in his Man Shed and was extinguished.
DAD!! If you don’t come on, we’re going to leave without saying goodbye! DA-AAAAD!!!!!
He’s out there peeing behind that building, Andra.
I’m telling you, that’s what he’s doing.
WHY would he…….oh, dear God. There he is. His shirt is untucked and everything. WERE YOU PEEING BEHIND THE SHED, DAD???
HUH??? (Cackling laughter.)
I told you, Andra. Your daddy does that all the time.
Is this true, Dad? IS IT?
Well, I have to do something about those termites. I don’t want ’em gettin’ in my shed.
I tell you, Andra. I can’t even stand to cut the grass back there. It stinks so bad. I make him do that part.
(Honestly, HOW did I spawn from these two people???)
Yep. I hafta pee all along the bottom of the wall. It kills them termites. It’s your mother’s fault for wetting my building with the sprinkler.
Ew, Dad. STOP. Don’t hug me. DON’T DO IT. Mom, can I take a shower before I go?