Female 30+. 500 words. Deanna: “Boys with Dicks” From Remote.

By Paul Pasulka

I started drinking real young, in a way. My father thought it was cute to give us sips of his beer. I remember it was sharp, and tickled. Then, when we were sick, my mother would fix a – like a half-shot of whiskey with a crushed aspirin and sugar – a Jack Daniels lullaby, my father called it. It burned, but then there was this warm, woozy, drowsy feeling. I liked that... I started kind of exaggerating, when I didn't feel good, so they'd make me one. But I always liked bars.

I used to go to the bar  with my parents when I was little. My father would just sit, getting drunk and drunker. But he'd give me a quarter for the juke box. And I'd get a can of pop and some beer nuts. To me, it was like a party. We almost never got anything like that at home. My mom didn't drink much then. Now she does, more than him. She'd just sit there, nursing a coke, staring at the TV, not saying nothin' to nobody.  And I'd watch the pool games. As far as I could tell, that was just a warm-up for the fights. Usually it wasn't much. “You fuckin'” this or that. Boys-with-dicks stuff. Sorry. I mean, like male aggression... I think I swear too much sometimes.

Anyhow, one time, I saw this guy – a cop – he even still had his gun on – a lot of cops drank there. He beat this Indian in a pool game and he told him to pay up. The Indian – I guess I should say Native American – he was huge; he told him to go 'eff' himself. “I don't owe you shit!” and turns to the bar to get a cigarette. And the cop hauls off and whacks him in the back of the head with the cue. Everybody else is just sittin' there starin'. Pointin' and smilin'.  Even the Indian, he just stood there. I don't think he knew what hit him. And the cop says to him, “You better fall, um, 'em-eff', or I'm gonna have to hit you again.” Like he's bein' a good guy, warnin' him. And the Indian's still standin' there, dazed, blood runnin' down his neck onto his shirt. And the cop, he shakes his head slowly, like, “I'm sorry, but you're leavin' me no choice here,” You know, like cop logic? And so he winds up and whacks him again. I can still see it; it was just like they say, he crumpled like a wet rag. And the cop just turns away and lights up a cigarette.

I was, I don't know, in shock. I turned to my mother and father. She was suckin’ on a cigarette, watchin' TV like nothin' happened. My father had this weird smile on his face, lookin' at the guy sprawled out on the floor. Then the bartender told my father that he had to get me out of there. My father told my mother to take me home. She didn't move at first, like she was havin' too much fun, and he leaned over and growled at her that he had to finish his beer, he wasn't gonna waste it, and “What the eff's wrong with you. Take care of your daughter.” They never took me to the bar again.  Guess they didn't want to risk havin' to interrupt their fun by lookin' out for me.