From whence this wretched racket? There was mewling, whimpering in the dark, probably Lucy in the midst of some goofy night terror. When do you get to finally sleep? How old must these little people become before they just let you sleep? She is 4 for the love of God. It’s 2 AM. When will she end her perpetual argument with the wind? But not so fast. I didn’t make it to Lucy’s room before I was stopped in my tracks. Jackson? I opened his bedroom door.
BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: I am too tired to provide any sympathies for the likes of you in these wee hours. Get a grip, boy. Do you need a thrashing?
JACKSON: (hushed, urgent): Dad, there’s someone in my closet.
BHJ: Paaa! Cats, Jackson. Are you serious? You got me out of bed for some freeloading scoundrel cats?!?
PAN & LUNA (in unison): We’re over here. [in bed with Jackson]
BHJ: So you are. Scoundrels. Let’s have a look in your closet then so we can put an end to this foolishness.
I heard something too. I was totally freaked out but I’m still trying to present an image to Jackson of a Dad who doesn’t get freaked out. But I do. I know that not every noise in the night leads back to some rational explanation. That it’s actually some errant fairy or cartoon figure or worse. Some noises are the malcontent undead bumbling around the creases of the living. The dead are clumsy. Scary shit. But this time I discovered, not before screeching like Lucy when you tell her it’s naptime, that it was only Calamari. I grabbed him by the hair on the back of his head and yanked him from the closet.
BLACK HOCKEY JESUS: Got you! What business do you profess to have in my son’s closet, rogue?
CALAMARI: O but scores need a little settling, Mr. Jesus. My business is with the boy.
BHJ: You dare to threaten my son? In my house? Ah but you’re a foolish tongue kissing squid.
CALAMARI: The boy must pay for his verbal transgressions.
BHJ: O shut up, Calamari.
JACKSON: Dad? Stop it. There’s nothing there.
BHJ: But it’s that idiot Calamari. [puts finger in idiot’s face to indicate evident truth of idiot] What the hell are you talking about? Use your imagination, boy!
JACKSON: Dad. There’s nothing there.
BHJ: So it’s true then. [I sat on Jackson’s bed and put a comforting hand on his knee] Our modern visions of science, metaphysics, psychology, and theology have stultified your imagination. O Jackson. You’re so effed come Christmas.
CALAMARI: I’ll have my leave then.
BHJ: Damn right you’ll have your leave. Right out the front door. Stay away from my daughter’s room you pervert.
CALAMARI: I’ll deal with you later, Jackie Boy.
BHJ: O shut up, Calamari.
JACKSON: Dad. I’m concerned about you.
BHJ: Vice-versa, dude. We live in completely different worlds little man. You think we’ll still make it as the greatest father/son team in the history of the world?
JACKSON: I think we’ll manage.
BHJ: Do you think our worlds are similar enough for us both to have some ice-cream before we go back to bed?