…will understand how any of it happened. I mean, they say everything happens for a reason; that everything has a cause and effect, but for the life of me, I can not see how Aaron, of all people, ended up a respected surgeon and the head of a whole surgical department at one of the biggest hospitals in the country.
Sure, people grow up, become adults. People can change, I guess, but Aaron…I don’t know, man. He was destined for something, that’s for sure, but more like some bum going from bad job to worst as a street construction flagger, or some shit. Definitely as some barfly living in a trailer, or something. I mean, Aaron is still Aaron: a crazy motherfucker.
That fishing trip? Remember that, a few years back? We all got together for one of our boys get aways. You know, out at Jerry’s cabin, over there by Cle Elum? You heard about that one, for sure. No?
Right, well, so we’re all out there on this one trip, having a good time, letting loose. The fishing was lousy that trip, but what the hell, you know? Who cares. But this one morning Aaron says, “Let’s pack it in and just go down to the Brick.” I mean, it’s only ten in the morning, right? And, and…I got my kid Joe with us this trip. Nah, he was older’n that. But was still a teenager; still in high school at the time.
So, Aaron says no big deal. Joe looks old enough. The guys are starting to pack up, and Joe’s looking all excited and looking at me, like, hey Dad can we, and I say, no way, I mean, are you kidding? I say, you guys go on ahead, me and Joe’ll stay out here a while, see you back at the cabin. Joe looks all pissed off, but no way I’m takin’ my kid to some bar at ten in the goddamned morning. Knowin’ my luck he’d get carded and I’d get thrown in the joint for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, never mind he’s my own kid, right?
So, Joe’s not speaking to me, and we just keep casting, not talking, catchin’ nothin, but I’m not about to change my mind. Joe gives up and gets all huffy, tellin’ me he’s bored, I tell him tough shit, go sit on the bank, I’m still fishing. Then my cell phone rings. I hand my rod to Joe and take the call and its Aaron.
There’s all this racket going on in the background, loud music, I can’t hear what he’s sayin until he finally walks outside. “Man, you have got to come down here!” he tells me. He keeps saying to forget about worrying about Joe and just get our asses down there.
I mean, this place was hoppin’! Only 12:30 or so, and this place is packed! Joe’s all excited, but trying to act cool, and I’m freakin’ out I’m gonna get in trouble bringing him there. And the guys are all already drunk as skunks. And there’s Aaron, in the middle, like some circus leader. He’s got some big bet goin’ on a pool game between a coupl’a other guys I don’t know, and everyone is standing around, cheering them on.
Oh, yeah, and the girls. I mean, where’d these chicks come from? They’re laughing and flirtin with Aaron, Dave and Jerry and the three of them are grab-assing and shit back. Dave is hanging on this one girl and reaches up and gives one of her tits a big squeeze. She just laughs, and I look over at Joe to see if he’s seeing this, and his eyes are wide open. Hey, I says to him, keep it cool. Don’t be getting your old man in trouble for letting you come in here, ‘K? And, I says, don’t you be telling your Mom, Aunt Carol or Dave’s wife about this. I mean, can you imagine? Ah, hell. Poor kid.
I mean, here’s the thing, we go around tellin’ our kids don’t do this and don’t do that and sex is only between a husband and wife, and be good and don’t cheat on people and do the right thing and be a responsible grown up, and then he see’s this shit?
What happened? Well… I mean, they just carried on like that pretty much the rest of the day. Drinkin games, yelling and laughing. Got stone-cold drunk. Oh, yeah, I let Joe take hits off my beers, I mean, what the hell. Here we were, and if I didn’t, the guys would’ve been slippin him something anyway.
So, like, Dave passes out in Aaron’s truck and Jerry and Aaron kept disappearing out the back, and not to go take a piss. Aaron was high. Don’t know what on, but it was something else, I can tell you. And I seen a couple of those girls go back there with them. A couple of times. And my kid, damn. The whole time he’s just laughing and thinking the whole thing’s a big joke.
Anyway, me and Jerry and Joe finally get everyone in one car or the other. Joe drives Aaron’s truck and we go back to the cabin to let everyone sleep it off for the next 24 hours. There was some serious hurtin that next day, I’m telling you.
But here’s the thing. Like, a year or so later, me and Joe’s in a fight. He’s making plans for what college he’s going to go to and he really wanted to go to Wazzu, which his mother doesn’t want because it’s got this rep for being a big party school. She wants him to go to Gonzaga or Reed in Portland. I mean, the kid’s got talent, super smart, always got good grades, so she wants him to go to a small school where he could get more attention, right? But they’re fighting about it, so I step in and tell him his mother’s right and that he should consider one of the small private schools. Tell him he should be grateful I’m willing to pay that kind of tuition and that he needs to focus on getting a good education so he can get into a good grad school, especially if he’s going to do what he says he wants to do with his life, and he says, “What the fuck does it matter?! Lookit Uncle Aaron, he’s, like, some some sort of big-time CEO, but he jsut started at community college, and he’s is out partying all the time and is always going on vacation somewhere, is super rich and sleeps around with other women…”
Oh, man, I tell ya. I just about lost it. I tried to explain it to him, but what do you say? He worships the guy, always has. I mean, Aaron, man, I don’t know how he does it! How does he get away with it? But how do you explain to a dumb kid that it doesn’t actually work that way? By all rights, Aaron should be a down-and-out alcoholic, strung out on drugs with no money to his name, no family, no friends…and yet, there he is. Mr. big-time surgeon to the stars.
All I said to Joe was, I don’t recommend you look up to your Uncle Aaron, son. He’s just got dumb luck, but I guarantee you, one day it’s going to run out.
In response to WP Daily Prompt: Well, I Never…