From short story, This Remains

Dad opens the door, throws his hands in the air.  “He’s done it now!” Of course he has, someone has always done something. “If Congress doesn’t block him then a decade of work goes down the drain!  Your mother is beside herself.” Naturally she is, for as long as I can remember.  


“The Cubs looked good on this home stand.”  I respond.


He stops and it dawns on him and he changes.  Pop greets me with a kiss on the cheek and he is wearing shorts so I am glad for that.  But no shirt. His Colonel Sanders goatee is perfectly trimmed and waxed. It, like his swept back hair is salt and pepper but the once generous locks are sparse and frayed.  He is gaunt, emaciated, I can hardly look at him.


“What did the Doctor say?”  I ask.


“What he always says.”  He waves, skeleton hand on broomstick arm.  


“Appreciated if you put on a shirt of some kind.”  I say.


“First pants, now shirt?”  He acts amazed. “So prudish of you.”


“Not that, you…”  I look away but not before he sees water.


“Oh.”  He looks at himself, softens and pats my shoulder on the way past.


I recover.  “Tell Mom shirt for her too.”



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