Friday, September 25, 2009

Marco and I

Well, my son Marco and I are at loggerheads again. Happened three nights ago and we ain't fixed it yet, though I suspect we will...until the next time.
This time it was over a television set. I don't watch much tv, but over the years we've wound up with several. There's one in the big living room; an old floor console in my office/small living room; one in Italo's room that he bought for himself, and then one in Marco's room. Now to get reception where we are we need a provider, and the one we use sent two boxes, each good for two sets. The one in my office served for me and for Italo's room; the one in the big room served for that and Marco's room. Don't ask me how that works, but it somehow seems to.
Anyway, about two weeks ago, after I was not connected for a while, I asked Italo to hook me up so that I could peek at football games on Sunday afternoon while I work on stories. He did. Then he went of to his dorm at school.
Two days later, the black box/dvd player in my office disappeared and an old vcr was in its place. I tried to use the television; wouldn't work. So I called Marco and asked him if he'd changed anything. He told me no. I asked him to hook it up so that the tv would work and he tried for a few minutes, then told me he couldn't then but would do it later.
Next day I asked again; this time he said the tv had never worked and that I was crazy to remember a black bod/dvd player.
Next day I asked him if maybe he'd given the box to his girlfriend and was afraid to tell me. He told me he'd done nothing and that again, I was crazy.
This went on for about 10 days. Then one day Italo showed up and I asked him if he could hook my tv up like he had before he'd gone to school a couple of weeks earlier. He said he couldn't because the box I'd had had been taken by Marco and put into his room after Marco had taken his specially bought TIVO box, whatever that was.
So when Marco came home that day I asked him to get my box from Italo's room and hook it up for me. And while he was hooking it up I asked him how the heck he had lied to me nearly every day for two weeks? How had he not said he'd taken the box? Why had he lied?
He didn't want to discuss it. Just said: "I'm not talking about it, okay? And don't ask me to do any more for this box because it's not going to work anyway since Italo lost the remote."
Then he sort of stormed out. I wasn't in the mood for a heavy confrontation and figured he'd come in later and explain himself, most likely beg forgiveness and that would be that.
But of course, while he was gone I went looking for the remote Italo lost, and found it on Marco's bed. Now it doesn't work for anything in Marco's room, so he was just sort of hiding it. Which set my blood boiling.
And when he came home I got in his face and demanded answers. He said, "I'm out of here," and stormed off.
I shouted "Fuck you, you punk liar," out the window at him.
He responded with a "Fuck you," back to me.
I responded in kind, adding that he'd better go because if he came back into the house I would kick him into the next world. And then I added that I knew he wouldn't come back in because he was a chicken-shit motherfucking lying asshole.
He didn't come back in. Instead he went to Chepa's (my wife/ex-wife) place and told her I was acting irrationally. Which I was, but just to him. As soon as he left I served Madeleina dinner and she got us juice to drink and we sat down in the big living room to watch a movie.
Two minutes later Chepa called, demanding to know how Madeleina was. I said fine and passed her the phone. Madeleina's end of the conversation went something like: "Hi mom....yes, we're eating dinner...roast chicken and rice with, dad is not crazy...I'm fine, mom...what are you talking about? We're just having dinner..."
And so forth. Evidently the picture Marco painted had Chepa thinking I was out of control from the answers Madeleina was giving, and despite never having been out of control she still needed to check on things.
I didn't see Marco that night. I did the following day, when he brought his girlfriend in as a shield. She came over to give me a hug while he sort of raced to his room and closed the door. I was still to angry to start a rational discussion at that point so I let him get away with hiding.
The next morning he left for work while I was sleeping and last night showed up again with Carly, but this time also with Chepa, the babies and Italo's girl Sarah for protection. I let it slide again.
But this morning I caught him on the way to work and told him we're gonna talk today when he comes home, Carly or no Carly.
I'll try to be rational. But there's a part of me that doesn't get it. Why would you lie to someone about a television box, and then about a remote that's useless to you?
Answer: You wouldn't. So this is about something else. I must have done something really awful, or he thinks I did, to elicit this sort of passive-aggressive response. So after I do my share of the talking I'll try to do my share of listening. Cause in the end, while he's just a little kid around me and Chepa, he's a pretty good young man and I would rather him learn from this than simply put a layer of armor around himself. That won't benefit anyone.


Phoenix said...

I can't wait to hear the conclusion to the confusion. It's tough being a Dad.

Self sufficient goddess said...

do you think that maybe it really does reduce to the Hero's Journey and a son's inner imperative to surpass his father?; yet coming from a society that has no rite of passage other than that which the tv box itself prescribes, it is so difficult. You both really love each other, its obvious. Maybe just focus on that.