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There are probably better ways to spend my 13th birthday than sitting in the ER waiting room. Actually my birthday is tomorrow, well today now that it is 1:48 AM. My dad is sick once again, although he really isn't sick, it's not like he caught something.
My Mom is back there with him. I've decided to wait out here. I’m not really in the mood to watch them fight and cry and then fight some more. What’s the point? The doctor will tell them that I don't need to see him like this. Then the doctor will tell him that he's lucky to be alive, that if he doesn't stop this he will be dead. We all know the routine, he needs to go to detox. Wow Doc, chalk one up for med school.
No, instead I will just sit out here with this lovely collection of human beings and wait it out. The usual suspects are here, like this guy two seats down from me. Shower much Mister? There's the overweight woman in the corner moaning, not the first time I've seen her. I finished my homework hours ago. Now I’m content to just sit out here and write-oh my God, really? This guy just let one go…who does that? Wow. Some people.
Soon the cameras will be outside, this happens every time. My dad is Sage Mitchells, you know, the Sage Mitchells, from Sledge? For those who don't know, my dad was a really big deal in the early nineties. He was the lead singer for the rock band Sledge. They sold like, a million records, maybe more I don't know. I'm not even sure what a record is. Anyway, they were huge back then. They toured with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and all of those older bands. They wore plaid and didn't shave. I've seen the videos too many times.
These days, my dad is known more for the headlines more than anything else. Sage Mitchells gets another DUI. Sage Mitchells hospitalized after overdose. Every time this happens, the cameras roll and Mom and I are all over the news...No comment. Dad's agent bailed years ago.
Dad's not a bad guy, he just makes really bad decisions. Life-altering, on the brink of dying bad decisions.. All of my friends' dads are accountants or insurance salesman, maybe even lawyers. Not mine. Nope, my dad is a washed up grunge rocker clinging to his fame. Everyone thinks we're rich and live this luxurious life. Actually we are about to lose our house and owe a ton of money in back taxes. I'm not supposed to know all of this, but I pay attention.
Last year, we were approached by VH1 to do a reality show. Dad was excited from the start. Mom was not so hot about the idea of inviting cameras into are house for a full view of our dysfunction...or Dad's dysfunction I should say. They had a big fight about it and of course mom relented. VH1 moved in with us and fliming began. The show was cancelled in the first season. I was relieved, I didn't too much enjoy going to school after the episode showing Dad passed out by the pool, after a drunken, heroin induced fall that left him crying like a child.
I overhear two freaks whispering. They're pointing and being really rude. Yes, I'm Sage Mitchell's daughter....what are you, 50? Stop staring dude.
Dad wasn't always like this. Mom says he was great when I was little. She tells me how happy (and surprised) they were to have a girl. I have two older brothers, but we have different Moms. Yeah, Dad got around, When Mom had me he had been sober for 3 years. She thought he had kicked for good. We were almost normal. Then, when I was maybe 2 or 3, the reunion talk began.
The band got back together and started practicing. All but Ricky anyway. Ricky had been the drummer. He died years ago of an overdose. Shocking, I know. From what I've gathered, the reunion was a flop. All of their fans had grown up. They had kids, some had kids with kids. Their groupies were now Grandmas.
The tour was cancelled and the new album, (why do they call it an album anymore? Seriously?), was scrapped. This was more than Dad could handle. He just can't seem to let go of the rock star thing. He still blames the boy bands, don't get him started on "musical integrity".
He started drinking again, which led him back to the heroin, which leads us to these ER visits. I feel bad for my mom. She has been through so much. The cheating, the drinking, the drugs, and the press. The stuff they write,I try not to read it. I hope to be a writer one day and If I am I will never write that gossip crap, get a life.
Of course I'm worried about him, but I know he'll pull through. it's always a good sign if he's talking to me on the way to the ER. Sure, he will mumble incoherently and repeat himself, but at least he's conscious. Once, his eyes rolled back in his head and he was drooling everywhere and I thought he was dead, that one scared me.
I'm sure this visit will lead to a rehab place somewhere nice. Dad will come back feeling great and full of hope and promises. Then he'll start talking about music again. After that, old friends will start hanging around again. And after that we'll be back here.
The two guys just asked if my dad was here. What is wrong with people? I assume they are going to wait for an autograph...losers. Anyway, here comes my mom...until next time.
Other Short Stories by Weestro:
- One Last Game
With new ownership replacing Frank's beloved stadium, he has one last stunt up his sleeve.
- The Spectator
Richard left town years ago, leaving his baggage behind. Now he's come back to see how things turned out.
- Unskilled Labor
For David, life is about avoiding attention, until one day when life grabbed his.
- An Ordinary Life
Two characters stuck in the prison of writer's block.
- A Trip Remembered
A short story about a nervous bride-to-be heading north to visit the future in-laws.