• jeffreypohn


I am one pissed-off ten-year-old. I can’t control anything in my life, especially how other people behave. Mom is becoming a dating machine. I’m not happy about that. It sounds insane, but I still cling to the dream of my parents getting back together.

When mom’s dates arrive, she insists that I greet them at the door, fix them drinks, and entertain them, until she makes her entrance. Mom decrees that I must look perfect. She spends more time dressing me than herself. Perfect clothes. Perfect hair. I don’t know why I have to look so good, the dates are interested in my hot mama, not me. These horn-dogs, a collection of combovers, fatsos, phonies, and walking pinkie rings, seem pleased with themselves. So, to take them down a notch, when I mix drinks for the dates, I often spit in them. I get a kick out of watching the dates drink my cocktails. I go out of my way to make the dates uncomfortable, bringing up conversational topics like their ex-wives or the holocaust. Before the dates arrive, I strategically place plastic “vomit” and “dog shit” around the living room, and I smile as the dates do double-takes.

The date I dislike the most, Seymour, a man with three kids from a previous marriage, none of whom will speak to him, becomes mom’s third husband (there was one before Bernie who I won’t even find out about for years). Seymour is outwardly impressive, a tall, handsome architect, with skyscraper drawings on his office wall. But he actually only builds squat, ugly retirement homes.

Seymour moves in with us. He has the ugliest feet I’ve ever seen. I have zero interest in men’s feet, not even my own, but with Seymour now living under my roof, I’m confronted with his disgusting dogs every day. It turns out that my new stepfather is a real drinker, a big-time liar, and a bully. At six-foot-four, and well over two-hundred pounds, it’s easy for him to get rough with me, and knock me around. I don’t understand why Seymour only throws underhand with a football, but overhand when hurling a full glass of scotch at me.

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