By Vince Montague
His teenager is inside the guest room fucking his teenage girlfriend, or so the father believes, but he doesn’t want to make a scene because he’s happy that his teenager has friends and that he has something to occupy him because if he were honest (and he shouldn’t even think this way but he does) he would admit he liked his son better when he was a boy, but now he is becoming a man who is much different than the boy and the father doesn’t understand the teenager inside his guest room pushing the bed against the wall. This means there will be another confrontation, another tense phone discussion with the boy’s mother, another drawn out trip down memory lane full of abandonment issues and blame. The banging against the wall continues until it finally stops, and afterwards the two teenagers slink into the front room where the father is wearing headphones and drinking whiskey. His teenage son wants to know if there is any ice cream to make root beer floats, but of course the freezer is empty. There’s no real food in the refrigerator. The teenage girl finds popcorn inside the cabinets and suggests watching a movie on his big screen. His son looks deprived because his father will not scold him. “Make yourself at home,” he says to the teenagers, but they are too young to understand the irony, and so the joke misfires and the girl begins to cry because she says she feels judged.
Vince Montague is a writer living in Northern California. His writing has been published in literary journals such as The Green Mountains Review, Nimrod: An International Journal, Other Voices, The Florida Review. Recently, his poems appeared in California Quarterly and Westwind.