Saturday, August 20, 2005


Most of today was good. The end of the day sucked. I'm tired. Fighting, arguing, does that to a person. I hate fighting, but damn I'm good at it; I can start a fight in the best circumstances, when everyone is cheerful and content, with 5 or 6 ill- (or well- ?) chosen words.

This is fight number two in as many nights. Over the same issue, which then evolves into "don't scowl at me, young man" or words to that effect.

Sparky and I will both be doing the unthinkable: going to bed with a nasty rash of a partly unforgiven argument prickling our brains. And, knowing how much like me he is, he is castigating himself as much as I am for not backing down, for saying things poorly, for not listening, and for spurring things on with bad word choices. Or maybe he's not. Maybe he's secure in the knowledge that, dammit, he was right and his Mom is a bitch. Which, yeah, is true.

Ironically enough, in my travels through photos of my grandmother's this afternoon (still working on Box #1), I found a picture of my dad taken when he was about 16. He's sitting in someone's living room with several other men, probably a Male Family Portrait. He looks furious. I know that look; I saw it on his face more than once: mulish, scowling, jaw set, teeth clenched, and brows drawn together. It's a look that I learned very young to walk quickly away from.

And yet, when I looked at this 16-year-old, I recognized my son. My son, whom I've always thought took mostly after his father's side. That jawline, those eyebrows...yep, that would be who I was facing off against tonight. And let me tell you, seeing that expression--the one I ran away from as a child--on my son was more than just a little mind-warping. And hearing my mother's tone and words come out of my mouth, seeing his reaction, was positively eerie.

I don't want to be my mom. I don't really even want to be my dad (I certainly have his temper). And I really don't want Sparky to think I don't love him (which was one of the accusations leveled at me tonight).

As I told Beast afterwards (he diplomatically stayed out of the fight zone), looking at Sparky tonight, I felt like I was in a long hallway with Age 18 at the end of it and these next six years of arguments repeated and refracted over and over all the way down the corridor.

Tomorrow we'll both be rested and apologetic. He'll be angelic, I'll be more patient and we won't argue again for a week. Or two.

I hope.

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