The Roof

His son walked in the house with a dour look at 11:44 P.M.  He knew this because he read the time off the oven clock at that moment.  He watched as the boy motored past without saying a word, a hello, and clearly with no plans to do so. As the boy crossed into the living room about to turn on the stairs, he called to him, bade him return into the kitchen.

The boy came back with a stuffy tromp.  He did not sit and was not planning to do so by indication of the hand upon his hip.  He asked the boy what had happened on his date.  The boy had been out with a girl that night.  To which the boy replied that it was not a date and even if it was it did not go well either way.  He asked why that was.  The boy breathed in and stood there thinking for a moment, figuring out how much to tell him.  Finally admitted that he had tried to kiss the girl and she had rebuffed him and then had a long stupid fight about what each person’s needs were at that time.  Those needs synced up in no way that mattered.

He then launched into a story with no invitation or indication to do so, from his own boyhood or adolescence or what-have-you.

When he was a boy himself about the age of the boy in front of him (Age 16) he had been out with a girl.  In the house he grew up in there was a tree outside of his bedroom that allowed him access to the roof.  He thought it would be a good capper to the evening to take the girl up onto the roof.  The moon was not out but the stars were and that was good enough.  They talked up there for a little while and as comes to pass sometimes, a lull in the conversation.  It is these times you must keep an eye out for and take advantage of. Time it off for around thirty-five seconds.  More than that it will be too late, less than that too early.  They were on the edge of the roof with their feet hanging off.  He leaned in for the kiss.  She turned to look the other way at that moment for some reason; god knows what was so interesting in that direction at that moment. Probably nothing.  But he had gone in, full lean and the momentum was unstoppable and the balance on that roof untenable.  He went forward and over.

He fell off the roof.

Somehow in that short two-story fall he had the luck of being able to twist his body around in mid-air and landed on his left leg which split and broke as is to be expected.  He fell back on his ass and hit the ground in terrible mind-bending agony.  Above he could hear the girl screaming through the house.  The door opened and his Mother and the girl came out.  The exact nature of what they said to him at that time is lost to him now.  His mother went inside to call 911 and the girl stayed out with him.  He told her that he had tried to kiss her up on the roof…and that he had missed.  To this she said that she did not really think of him that way and sorry and I did not mean to lead you on.  Then his Mother came back out and all three of them waited for the ambulance but only his Mother came with him when it picked him up.

“What is trying to be said here son, and I’m not great with wrapping these things up in a bow or anything…what I guess I’m saying is that this kind of thing is always going to hurt…but it’s not going to kill you.  This girl didn’t want to kiss you…don’t worry about it because there is always another girl who will.”

The boy looked like maybe he had taken some of this to heart but not maybe how all of it meshed or totally synced with his experience but he said thanks and walked off upstairs.

-Daniel Von Egidy, 2011

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