Phone Call

by Gus Mircos 

My dad called me again. He’s still the kind of guy that pounds on the
sides of computers because he thinks punishing them makes the circuits
run faster. He’s like a rolodex of everything I’ve ever done wrong.
His house is full of animal heads and stuffed birds he got at garage
sales and I was always more comfortable among the Golden Girls and
sticky mothball fog of Grams’ place than around all those plastic
black eyes looking at me like I’m the one who shot them and stuck them
up on the walls. He talked into the phone like he was yelling across a
crowded room. Through the receiver, I could see him pushing his
fingers through his beard while he thought about all the ways he could
make me feel full of shit. It was something else this time, something
about how the bank was stealing money out of his accounts a few
dollars at a time. How his blood pressure was making his eyes hurt and
his hands tingle. He said, How’s that job of yours going? You keeping
up on the news? There was this dog in Florida that saved a whole
family from their burning trailer. Fucking amazing, he said, more
heart in that dog than in the rest of this whole goddamn country.  I
told him I met a girl. He said every piece of ass comes with a price,
son, don’t forget it. How do you reason with a man like that?  You’re
mother, he said, she was an expensive one. I could see him through the
receiver again, sitting on this leather couch with all those animal
heads as company. They must agree with everything he says.

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Gus Mircos currently resides in Colorado surrounded by taxidermy
animals and empty Ramen Noodle packets.
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