Three steps into the diner.
That’s all it took.
The fragrance of recycled air, bacon grease, and cigarette smoke took
the wind out of his sails.
And I came here to relax, work on my speech?
He just stood there like a galleon during dead calm.
“Seat yourself, be with you in a minute,” a voice called out.
As he slid his ass into a booth, an older, plump waitress stopped,
rambled, “You want some coffee to start out with honey?”
“I suppose that would be a good idea,” replied Jed.
“Be right back with that honey.”
What the fuck is she calling me honey for? Who the fuck told her to do
that? Did she even look at me? Is she even paying the fuck attention?
Fuck, bitch, if I was your age, or older, maybe you could call me honey.
Because of some kind of implied motherfucking shared life experience.
Like being a 60’s child. A Baby-Boomer and shit. But lady, you are
much older than me. About 50,000 times around-the-block older. And you
ain’t no fine looking cougar like Bo Derek or Farah Fawcett. So we
sure as hell ain’t swapped no spit, so spare me your
down-home-country-feel-good-neighborly-canned fucking response.
Just then, a mom and her two young sons walked past.
They stopped at the booth directly behind him.
Of all the open booths, and what, there must be twenty; you gotta plant
your ass right behind me.
Where’s the fucking logic in that Descartes?
One of the young boys immediately dialed up his inner Tommy Lee. Those
poor salt shakers.
“Michael Thompson you stop that this instant,” snapped the mother.
The playing continued.
“Michael Thompson, listen to your mother.”
The drum solo got louder.
“Michael ALLAN Thompson, you stop that right now!”
The young boy stopped.
But just to change grips.
“Michael ALLAN Thompson, I am not gonna say it again!”
Jed closed his eyes.
Went to his happy place.
What the fuck is it with parents and the middle name? Like the middle
name has some mystical, magical power. As if saying the middle name
somehow instantly calms, sedates, and helps control a hyper child. Like
no real fucking parenting is needed. Just accentuate their middle name
as you scold them. But these damn parents today love to pull the middle
name card. The middle name is the verbal cue to the child that they have
crossed the point of no return.
The mom was shaking her finger.
“Michael ALLAN Thompson I am going to count to 5,” she blurted.
Jed shook his head.
It’s too early to fold the middle name card lady. You should have
waited. Given him two minutes of the silent treatment. Your son would
have tired. Game over. There was less than 2 minutes left of his solo. I
guarantee you that. Your son ain’t Alex Van Halen. You could have won
with the middle name card. Instead you folded the card too quickly. Now
you are left with one card. The counting card.
“One, Two,” began mommy dearest.
This isn’t going to end well lady.
Lady you are going too fast. Let the drama build slowly to a crescendo.
Your quick cadence is counterproductive. You want the boy to visualize
the spanking. Almost feel the pain.
The boy pushed the shakers at his mom, bolted out of the booth.
“Michael ALLAN Thompson you get your ass back here right now!” She
stomped her feet. “I am going to count to five.”
Jed got up, walked across the room, and fell into a different booth.
I think I’ll squat here.
The waitress located his new booth.
Never called him “honey” again.
The Texas omelet was perfect.
The coffee was black and strong.
The cost was reasonable.
The dive even took credit cards.
He was mere seconds from standing up, walking out the front door when he
noticed his favorite booth was being served their food.
“Mommy, I don’t like chicken fingers!” shouted Michael Allan
Thompson. “I won’t eat them!”
“You don’t have a choice, that is what I ordered,” said the mother
Then the mother went and made yet another Parenting 101 mistake. Her
previous comment was fine. But the young boy had flustered her earlier,
so she decided to tease him.
“Why don’t you just be a good boy like your brother Eddie and eat
Jed quickly found a seat, watched the calamity. He knew all too well a
young boy’s anger when being compared unfavorably to a brother.
He had to give young Michael Allan Thompson props. The combination of
high-pitched wailing (the kind only a young boy can muster) and the
rhythmic pounding of silverware was impressive.
It took nearly four minutes and six hollow threats before the chicken
fingers were removed and replaced with a mini-hamburger.
Jed just nodded at Michael Allan Thompson as he walked past.
That was impressive theatre. It’s not everyday you get to see escape
conditioning done with such energy and attention to detail.
Excerpted from "Driven To Tears [Kindle Edition]" by Jason Alex Jauron. Copyright © 2012 by Jason Alex Jauron. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.