An Appeal to My Son
My dearest son, eldest scion, first of our name. Treasure of my heart, light of my loin, repositor of my fondest hopes and dreams. May your footsteps be guarded by angels and your food seasoned by the curry of the gods. May all the days of your life be resplendent Bollywood style orgies of color and sound. I wish you everything good life has to offer and none of the bad. And though I have no power to confer any special immunity from such, I hope knowing Mommy and Daddy love you only fractionally less than themselves and orders-of-magnitude more than everyone else in the universe buoys your spirit always throughout your days.
Nevertheless, we are brought to a critical juncture in our relationship. One that cannot be hastily negotiated or treated with anything less than the awesome gravity it deserves. For you, my son, are growing up. Your body has continued to gain in mass and stature, your brain seems to be producing new and varied thoughts, and I can only assume there is also a lurking nonverbal consciousness whose motives and concerns will remain as mysterious to you as they are to me for the rest of your days. Therefore, we must accept certain things as factual, no matter how much we may like to cling to the habit forms of the past.
There was a time, son, when your body smelled of only baby powder and stem cells. There was a time your underarms were factories of sweetness and delight, but that time has passed like the Obama administration. While you were playing Minecraft and watching whatever reboot of Voltron is au courant with the kids, your body was following through with its genetic imperative, setting you on a collision course with a gender-fluid state of sexual identity politics I can scarcely fathom but you will find meh and humdrum and first nature. But don’t worry about that now. For now concentrate only on one thing. And that is how terrible you smell.
Your body has become an engine of funk. Not the good James Brown kind. The awful Skid Row please call social services for the child’s sake kind. All the biochemical magicks responsible for your amazing leap into maturity are also off-gassing tremendous amounts of waste product and bacterial substrate. You are basically an adorably boy-shaped miasma of perpetual stench. Do you remember when we watched that old movie Labyrinth together? Yes? Well, you smell like you were dipped in the Bog of Eternal Stench. Head to toe. And, son, I am being being very kind.
For this reason and many more that cannot possibly be uttered within the span of time reasonably allotted our parent-child relationship, you must stop convincing your mother to let you sleep in our bed. She only lets you sleep on my side of the bed—which is not real generosity by the way. You then sweat like a rabid Spanish bull, deeply embedding your pre-adolescent acridity into my pillow and my half of the covers. It’s like sleeping in the armpit of a meth addicted Elmo doll. Look within yourself. You cannot want that for your father.
Be a good boy. Stop pestering your mom to let you sleep in our bed. Sleep in your own bed. The fancy loft bed that mommy hung fucking Christmas lights over because God forbid you ever experience even a single moment of dread or self-realization…
Now, good night, sweet dreams. Daddy loves you.