Posts I guess



May all my enemies go to hell,
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel.

Hilaire Belloc


Jason thought he could forget about the letter. It sat on his dresser, across from the bed, so unfortunately it was the first thing he saw in the morning and the last thing he saw at night. So he put it  in the nightstand drawer, but that didn’t help because everytime he saw the nightstand he thought of the letter.

He couldn’t figure out why it bothered him so much. It was probably just a plain “Merry Christmas, love Dad” card that would do nothing but infuriate him. Or maybe it was just full of mean things like, “We never want to see you again”. But the card had a Christmas stamp on it, which seemed like something you wouldn’t do if you were putting hate in the mail. Also it was sent certified mail.

Eventually, Jason decided that if he was going to move on with his life – as he had so proclaimed to himself many times – that he was going to have to open it and get the elephant out of the room.

So a couple days after Christmas, Sam was off on a hockey playdate with a friend and Jason was alone in the house with Daryn and Adam. They had spent the morning knocking snow off the roof and gutters, and taking down the lights buried under said snow. They shoveled the walkway, filled the bird feeders, and also had a pinecone fight. This escalated into a snowball fight, and that’s when Jason discovered Adam used to play baseball in college.

They stumbled into the house laughing and freezing, with melting snow running down the backs of their necks. Daryn offered to make some hot soup and grilled cheese. That got a unanimous vote of ‘yes’.

Adam was leaning against the counter waiting for water to boil. Jason had gone downstairs to his basement bedroom to change into dry clothes, but he came upstairs with more than a different outfit. In his hand was the envelope. Adam blinked. “You haven’t opened it yet?”
Jason shook his head and tossed it on the table. “I don’t know if I want to, but my desire to make it go away is now bigger than my desire to not open it.”
Daryn poked the toast frying in the pan. “Do you want us to open it?”
Jason took a Diet Coke out of the fridge and sat at the table. “I don’t know. I feel like I should just not be a pussy and open the damn thing.”
“How about this?” Adam suggested. “We open it. If there’s a shitty message inside, you never see it, and we go outside and set it on fire.”
Daryn looked at him. “Honey, seriously.”
“But if there’s a nice message in there, we’ll give it back.”

Jason set the Diet Coke down and turned the envelope over in his hands. It had come in one of those white flat-rate size envelopes. “No, I’ll open it. But thanks for giving me the option in case I pussy out.”
“My pleasure – oo, water’s boiling.” Adam turned off the kettle and poured water into two mugs.
Jason watched Daryn cooking and Adam making tea. “I’ll open it after lunch.”
“Ok,” Daryn said with a smile. “No rush. Can you set the table?”
“Don’t forget the Sriracha!” Adam piped up.


Adam set the plates in the sink. “God I am so full.”
“I really shouldn’t have eaten three grilled cheese sandwiches,” Jason noted.
“But it was worth the pain wasn’t it?” Adam asked.
“Every bite.”
Daryn leaned back and put a hand over his stomach. “I’ll take those as compliments.”
Adam patted him on the shoulder and sat back down. Jason picked up the envelope, which was resting on Sam’s chair, and set it on the table.
“Ready?” Daryn inquired.
Jason shrugged. He fingered the white pull tab embedded in the paper envelope. “It’s like ripping off a bandaid.” He pulled the tab and it made a ripping noise as it separated from the paper. Jason shook the envelope and a light green greeting card envelope fell on the table.
Daryn raised an eyebrow. “Looks like there’s something in there besides a card.”
Jason frowned at it. It just said “Jason” on the back. He opened it with this thumb under the envelope flap, careful not to give himself a paper cut. He peered into it.
Adam and Daryn were looking at him intensively.
“Uh, well, it’s a greeting card.” Jason said. He pulled it out from its spine. When it came loose from the envelope, cash spilled on the table.
“Woah!” Adam and Daryn said at the same time.
“Holy cow!” Jason added. “Dude  – dude these are hundreds!”
Adam set his mug down and leaned forward. “All of them?”
Jason shook the card. “There’s…one two… five. Five hundred! Holy shit that’s a lot of money.”

“Yeah. Yeah it is. I hope there’s no strings attached to it,” Adam noted.
Jason tidied the money into a stack. “Well, I guess we’ll find out.”

The card was a vintage Christmas scene of a tree and toys. Black and white. Jason opened it and raised an eyebrow. He turned it outward to show it to Adam and Jason. The entire inside was covered in writing. In the middle, there was a small key taped to the card. The writing continued on the back, and there was another piece of notepaper taped to it where the letter continued.
“What does it say?” Adam said gently, the same moment as Daryn asked. “What’s the key for?”
Jason looked at the couple who were looking at eachother.
“That only works if we say the same thing, Adam.”
“Daw, I think you’re right.”
“Finish your tea love.” Daryn patted him on the knee.

Jason took a deep breath and began to read outloud:

“Dear Jason,

This is your dad. Well, I guess you knew that. I just
Oh he crossed some of it out here…
Listen, I just wanted to say I’m sorry. I never meant for things to turn out this way. When we got in the fight in January, I thought you just went to a friends house. When you didn’t come home that night, I called your friends but no one had seen you. The next day I called the police, who found you at the shelter. I called the lady at the front desk of that shelter who threatened to have me prosecuted for leaving you out in the cold. I just hung up.”

Adam laughed at this. “Oh my god, that must be Laurie. I owe her cookies.” Daryn just shook his head.

“At that time, in January I mean, I told you to “get out”. I don’t know what I meant then, but I didn’t want you like to like leave forever. I don’t know how this turned into such a mess. It was a very knee-jerk reaction, when I yelled at you. And my parents, your mom’s parents, the church, told us we did the right thing by not going to find you. But it just didn’t feel like the right thing. It’s been eating me alive. I’ve been talking to someone, a doctor, on my break at work…your mother doesn’t know. But he’s also a dad, and he’s kind of helping me understand why I feel this way.”

Jason muttered. “Oh gee, you can’t understand why your kid left after you told him to get out and called him a fag, someone call a shrink. Gimme a break.” Adam snorted. Jason paused for a minute then kept going.

“Jason, I want you to understand that we’ve been Catholic for a long time. My parents have, their parents, Janie’s parents. When you’re little, and your parents and church teach you things, you just think that’s the way things are. You don’t question it too much. One of those things is homosexuality, and having a gay son turn gay-”
“Turn gay?” Daryn interjected. “Excuse me.”
“Shh, let him finish.”
Jason coughed. “-is one of those things that means you failed as a parent: the mom loves too much, the dad not enough. Or someone molested your kid. Either way it means your child won’t have a relationship with god and will go to hell. It’s very very scary to hear that. Also, a lot of times they teach us that gay people are pedophiles, and with our other kids in the house, that also scared us. Your mother is still rather scared. The doctor tells me kids are just born gay, and they don’t “turn”. And they’re not pedos.”
“Of course we’re fucking not!” Daryn shouted.
Adam shushed him this time.
“-But it’s amazing how hard it is to change your instincts, your thinking, when you’re almost 50 years old. It’s like I’m fighting against myself. I’m trying. I don’t know if I’ll succeed. Continued in note…”

Jason removed the notepaper taped to the back.

“I can’t believe it’s almost been a year. I know you came back sometime in the spring and got some of your things while we were at work. I know you’ve been at the shelter for a while. I made a donation anonymously, but I don’t know how you’ve been managing though, and it keeps me up at night.
I’m giving you some cash to help get you things you need. I can’t take more out or your mother would get suspicious. I’ve put your SSN card and your birth cert into a lock box at the Wumpscutt branch of the Portland Bank, along with stocks, bonds, and your savings account. That’s what the key is for. You can use the savings account when you turn 18. Just don’t lose that key.”
Jason didn’t look up. “Holy shit, that’s awesome, I can get a job now!”
Daryn looked placated, “Well that’s nice at least.”

“Anyway. I miss you a lot. I wished we could have gone fishing this summer like we used to. I hope one day we can talk again, although I’lll understand if you never forgive me. Also, I thought I should let you know that I check your Instagram once in a while. You have it on public. I understand if you put it on private. But I like knowing you’re ok. All the best, Dad.”

Jason set down the letter. Quiet fell over the kitchen.

Adam spoke first. “Jason did you post any photos of us or Sam on your Instagram?”
Jason’s eyes went wide. He checked his phone. “Just one of Sam opening gifts. You can’t really see his face though, it’s from the side.”
”You should delete it,” Adam said in the most gentle way possible. “Unless you want your dad to know who you’re with.”
Jason shook his head. “I’ll delete it. And the one of the house I posted this morning.”
”Shit,” Daryn muttered.
“Good thing we only put the house number on the mailbox,” Adam noted.

Jason set his phone down on the table. He picked up the card, and after a moment of consideration, dropped with a sneer of digust. “I can’t believe the audacity of my old man. Look at me, I’m an old conservative asshole who is shocked -shocked I say! that the world isn’t what I was brainwashed to believe. So here’s some money and your identification papers, so go be an adult – you’re almost 18! same thing! while I work this shit out – by myself, cause I’m too much of a pussy to tell my wife maaaaaybe you should wait until your teenage son TELLS you to open his door after you knock.” Jason folded his arms. His chin quivered. “Just, fuck this!” he shoved the card and envelope onto the floor.
Adam and Daryn waited and held hands under the table.
”It’s not fair,” Jason whispered. “No one asked me if I wanted to be on my own yet.” Tears spilled from his eyes. Adam tsked and got up before the first one hit the table. It’s ok.” He knelt down and pulled Adam into a hug. “It’s ok. You have every right to be mad.”
Jason embraced him back. “Fuck, I need a stiff drink.”
That made Adam bark out a laugh.

Daryn stood up and walked into the dinning room. He came back with a bottle of bourbon, and poured some into a shot glass. Adam had given Jason a tissue box and he was blowing his nose. Daryn set the shotglass in front of Jason. “Here. You’ve been through enough shit. You earned a shot. Just don’t like it too much or get used to the idea.”
Adam gave Daryn a wary look. “Is this a good idea?”
”Is taking in a teenager who is still a minor and hiding him from his unstable parents a good idea? No. But we did it anyway, because it’s the right thing to do. And sometimes the right decisions aren’t always the best ones. All the adults in Jason’s life are making him grow up on their time. Not his. And if the world wants him to be an adult so damn much, then Jason can have a goddamn shot.”
Adam’s face softened. “I can’t argue with that.” He sat down next to Jason. “But as my husband said, don’t get used to it.”

Jason couldn’t believe this. He’d never been treated…well, not like a kid. He looked at the amber liquid in the glass. It wasn’t entirely full, but the pour was generous. He puffed up his chest and poured the bourbon down his throat. It tasted like someone poured rubbing alcohol through a barn door, and it burned like satan’s asshole. He coughed and sputtered, and whacked himself on his chest. “Jesus!” he wheezed.
Adam laughed. “Tasty huh?”
“How do you drink that stuff?!”
“Hey that shit’s sixty bucks a bottle. That’s the good stuff.” Daryn corrected. He had an amused grin on his face.
Jason looked concerned. “Good christ.” He blew his nose again. Daryn took the shotglass to the sink. Jason leaned back in his chair. A warm calm began to spread through him. He exhaled. It was nice. The anger faded. He felt a bit tired from working in the snow and eating so much food. Jason’s gaze drifted to the money on the table. He pushed it towards the parents’ end of the table. “Here.”

“Jason…” Adam said. “We can’t take this. It’s yours.”
”No. I want you guys to have it. You’ve been taking care of me. Feeding me. You let me stay here and furnished a whole room for me. You should have this.”
Adam and Daryn communicated telepathically. “Well,” Daryn said, “Adam and I will talk about it more later. But either way, we’ll hold on to it until we decide what to do. Either way, it’ll go towards you. Not us.”
Adam nodded. “Yeah. Hand me that white packing envelope.”
Jason did. Adam put the money inside. “Thank you Jason. You’re really a good kid.”

Jason smiled. He crumpled his Diet Coke can. “I’m going to go watch TV downstairs for a bit and practice guitar.”
”You go ahead. I gotta do laundry, so you may see me down there,” Daryn said.
Jason nodded. He got up, ignoring the card on the floor, and walked toward the living room. Jason tossed the can into the recycling bin, and then turned to face Adam and Daryn. “Hey uh…how did your parents take you coming out?”

Adam looked surprised. “Well. I told my parents and they were like, ‘oh we know.’ And I was like, ‘how??’ and they said when I was little I used to talk about how I was going to marry the Princes in the Disney movies.”
Daryn cracked up. “I’ve never heard this!”
“It’s true.”
Even Jason had to giggle. “That’s pretty funny.”
Daryn said, “I can even see your mom just like, carrying on making pasta or something without looking up.”
“Pretty much how it went. And I know how it went for you Daryn, but i’ll let you tell it.”
“Gee, thanks. As for me,” Daryn began, “My dad was teaching me how to fix a transmission in a piece of shit Galant or something; and I was distracted thinking about telling my dad and I couldn’t figure out what the fuck I was doing. He was waiting for me to do something, and I just blurted out that I was gay. My dad stared at me without blinking so long I thought he was like, broken, or something. Then he said – ‘is that your got-damn excuse for not being able to fix this transmission?’”
Adam grinned. “I love the way you mimic your dad.”
“It’s hilarious,” Jason agreed.
“Despite his goofy Boston accent, my dad’s a tough ol’ ex-Marine. He gave zero shits about where you stuck your pecker as long as you got the job done. And all he was really concerned about was grand kids, so he was way more chill when I told him I still wanted to be a father. He loves Sam to pieces.”
“I could sense that at Christmas. What about  your mom?” Jason asked.
Daryn licked his lower lip. “She passed when I was 10.”
“Shit. Sorry to hear that.”
Daryn shrugged. “Just how it goes.” A moment passed.

Jason hitched his jeans. “Thank you both for letting me stay here. I feel very lucky to have met you guys.” Jason quickly slipped away, leaving Adam and Daryn speechless.

Adam shook his head and picked up the card and notepaper from the floor. He stuck it in the envelope. “Heavy stuff,” he said.
Daryn wrapped his arms around Adam from behind. “It is. But despite the speed bumps, I’m glad you found him.”
“Oh you feel it too?”
“Feel what?”
“That our family is complete now.”
Daryn gave Adam a squeeze. “Yeah, I feel it too.”

Captions are fictional.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *