Please Take My Temperature The Old-Fashioned Way!
Posted on July 7, 2011
“The temperature has gone up to 84.”
My father has become the ultimate source of weather in southeast Michigan. Nothing gets by him. Not a cloud, not a percentage of humidity, not a forecast–well, all forecasts technically get by him because the man can’t remember shit due to the Alzheimer’s–and not a chance to explain to you why he loves the warmer weather, just not too hot and not too cold, though he also loves the winter as long as it’s not too cold and… You get the idea.
“Oh, look. It’s gone up to 85!”
It’s usually about then that I start cursing the day some electrical automotive engineer with a penchant for his hand instead of a real sex partner actually developed a digital temperature readout for vehicles. But a day without taking dad for a ride is like a day I don’t go home and count the number of Xanax pills in the little bottle. Truth be told, I enjoy our drives. He took me everywhere as a kid, so I feel like I’m repaying a bit of the joy he brought to me. I loved going on drives with dad. They were adventures. They were an excuse just to get out. They were relaxing. They were…
“Uh, oh. It went back down to 84.”
“I’m going to pull that (censored) right out of the (censored) dashboard if you don’t knock that (censored) off!”
My drives? Perhaps not as relaxing, but definitely still adventures.
Now, I find that life with my partner, my Ralph, my fiancé, tends to mirror relationships like the one with my father. And no, he doesn’t call me daddy. He did once as a joke in the heat of the moment. Suffice to say that equipment failure was imminent and he soon realized his faux pas. The look on my face probably cemented his error, too.
“Sweetie? What do you think of this book?”
My guy grew up wrestling with his brother and they could be quite brutal or as brutal as two thin kids could be with each other. I grew up with a Siberian Husky and the bitch cheated whenever we played, so I usually ended up being the one bruised. So when he and I started to date and I’d get lippy, which was often because I thought it was fun and daring of me, I wound up in a headlock. From there, it was a sore neck for about 8 months, which was new to me because I enjoyed being flippant.
“Oh, sweeeeetie? Look what book I found?”
One evening while we were walking through a Borders, I found a book titled Men Who Beat The Men They Love and pretended to read it when he came by to see where I was. He was not amused. That tickled me. He didn’t that night. So whenever we’d go into a store, I always made sure that I found a copy of that book and he caught me reading it.
“You’re never going to believe what they have on the shelf here!”
“If you show me that one more time, I’m going to take it out of your hands, go buy, come back here and BEAT YOU WITH IT!”
Can you see where I might have learned some of my temperament from? And in case you’re wondering, I stopped looking for that book and I stopped teasing him with it. Well, I guess to be totally honest, I stopped teasing him with it for about a decade. A friend of his was looking for a belated birthday gift for him, we were out shopping together and I made the mistake of telling her the story. She bought him the book. He opened the book. I had to duck from the book!
And the adventure continues…
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
2 Responses to “Please Take My Temperature The Old-Fashioned Way!”
July 7, 2011 at 6:47 pm
You finally found an opportunity to use the word “fiance”. Hehehe ;D
July 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm
Wonderful!!!! Thanks. I needed a giggle.