2 comments

Coming of Age Contemporary Drama

    I sit here looking at my son, who has just moved back in. Wearing many of my clothes-my college sweatshirts. Going to work where I started working and asking the same questions I asked at his age.

     “What’s the point? Why am I here and what am I supposed to be doing” he says quizzically. And more importantly, “How can I do it and do I without the government owning my life and ‘selling’ out?” 

    Well kid, I have been looking for those answers for over 30 years, I think, and just stare at him is disbelief. Here, I’ve basically been out of this kids life for 10 years and then Boom! He plants himself in my tiny apartment and starts talking about dis and politics-and loudly too! 

     I just respond with, “If I said what I really want to say, youll just get annoyed… it’s the whole generation gap thing again.” 

    And I think how I’m just bursting to say how it’s just part of life and ya have no choice, really but to suck it up, get a job and live life in that order, or some form thereof: graduate, then college or work. Then a car, apartment, get married, 2.2 kids, a dog: the ‘American Dream’. 

     So we sit, and we talk, about how he wants to move to Norway, or Finland, and off the grid so he doesn’t have to live under ‘the oppression of the American government’ . 

     And I listen. I listen to this man/child (and I say that with great respect-he is the flesh of my womb. I treasure each word he says, even when I disagree)

     And I hear the desperation in his voice. A new generation. Chronically crying out to be heard, yet unsure of how to do it, due to history, and the fear of repercussions. 

     So their reaction is to run. I’m lucky. I seemed to have caught this one-if only for a moment in time. Like a fly in a web, not yet caught by the spider. 

     And so I speak.. I speak from experience, and hope something sticks. It’s a different generation, one who fights different and with different ideals. 

     I spin tales, yes, a bit- but only to put a little fear into the boys head. He has to venture on his path with a healthy dose of fear. He can’t just naively travel through the world being ignorant of the dangers.

    So I plant the seeds. The seeds of fear. And faith. Faith must always be your anchor. Faith must always hold you down especially in times of fear. Faith must be there because when nothing else is there to hold you, faith will lead you on. Faith will fight for you when there is no fight left in you. Faith will move that mountain you were only meant to climb. Faith will lead you home when you can’t find your way.

    Fear, and faith, and family. Never forget your family. For all the fights and disagreements and faults, they are from whom you were bred. And they are who the original seeds come from. So honor them by listening to them. Heed their words. Let their seeds continue to grow. Let the light shine and water them daily, because your family knows. When you get past the bullshit your family covers … you will find the seeds, perhaps covered up in dirt. But it still grows. And it’s up to you to pass it on.

     So listen to the words if your elders. Listen to them, for they are wise. Even if they sound foolish, or don’t make sense to you right now… some day. Those words will travel through your mind, and you will stop in your tracks. And remember…. 

     Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t give up on what you want to do. Just because ‘life’ may happen, it doesn’t mean it’s over. Especially when your life hasn’t  even started yet.. and truth be told, it hasn’t even had a chance to begin to start screwing you. You can do everything right and still end up messed with. Just don’t end up jaded.

     It’s ok to end up scarred in the end, but don’t become bitter, or cold. Life is life. All you can do is make the next best choice. 

    And as my child and I discuss the inner workings of an adult in America today, I can only advise him on what I know, and what I’ve seen. And so much has changed in the last 30 years..

     I think of what was instilled in me growing up…the seeds planted in me. ‘Be a good person, don’t lie and do your best’. Pretty generic, but easy enough, right?

   What had this evolved into, decades later? In the technological age, with so much trouble in the world? A virus, a country threatening to exterminate another? How does one parent an intelligent man/ child about such things?

     Best I can figure, is, ya plant the seed and hope it sticks. Fear, Faith and Family. I’m some context, and some order.,. Those 3 words can save you from any ill gotten thoughts, or actions or deeds-IF you abide by the seeds you were given. 

    Let them blossom and grow… and flower like now other. So that the seeds spread on. To generations to come. And don’t ever get forgotten. They’re too important, you see. People get lost without them. 

    And it’s up to my boy now… to carry my words forth. Will he spread it for good? Will he use it as what not to do? It makes me wonder. 

    What will my legacy be? But that’s a story for another day. I cant think of that now .

      It’s about my boy. And my words. And if all of this was worth all of that.            

    And I wonder as I wander..

    But it doesn’t even matter. As long as he heard. As long as something stuck. Something stuck in the ground.  And he grows…

March 26, 2022 21:27

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

2 comments

T.M. Kehoe
21:07 Apr 06, 2022

I like your story, but I do think it could benefit from a quick edit/rewrite. Not just the grammatical errors, but overuse -- look at how many paragraphs start with "So" and "And."

Reply

Kara Beth Baker
21:13 Apr 13, 2022

Yes I agree-after looking it over again. Thank you

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.