Episode 8 – Home Meltdown Part II

I skip dinner, stretch out on my bed waiting for the big showdown. Doze off. Am awakened suddenly by the front door slamming…an 8 on the Richter Scale. Dad obviously knows everything…thanks to Mom. I feel like a prisoner on his way to execution, chained to a creaking wagon, crowds jeering: “Off with his head!” Suddenly, the dreaded guillotine looms overhead. I plod up the steps, worn down by victims before me. The one-eyed executioner leans forward and whispers: “Time for yer final prayers, laddie.” The crowd’s ecstatic. They want blood!

Dad comes marching down the hall. He’s a big wheel investment banker…feels he has the last say, and ultimate authority over us. There’s no knock. The door flies open. His eyes are riveted to me, teeth clenched…looks like he’s gonna blow sky high. Shit!

“Come with me,” he snarls. Leads me into the den, his inner sanctum. Sits behind his desk. Motions to a chair. “Sit.”

“What’s this crap I hear from your mother?”

“I fucked up, but…”

“Ditch the obscenities. It’s a disgusting habit.”

“Right. All I did was buy new clothes for school…I thought they looked great.”

“So, I guess you think school’s a fashion show?”

“No, but I hate looking the same all the time. I’m a creative person…uniforms are gross.”

He leans across the desk, wags a finger in my face. “You listen to me, Hunter. Number one: Never, and I mean never, swear at your mother! If you do it again, you’re grounded for life…even one word. Number two: I’m paying for you to go to one of the best schools in the country. It’s a meal ticket for success, but if you don’t care, and aren’t willing to give it one hundred percent, go to public school. Display your outfits, but I won’t lift a finger to help. Number three: Because of the suspension, and your foul mouth, I have no intention of letting you hang around here. For the rest of the week, you’ll dress appropriately, and come to work with me at Farrow Goldenberg Capital.”

My heart sinks. Shit, I’m just getting started with Jewel…won’t see her the rest of the week. Fuck! “Dad, how about half-days? I can’t run and stay in shape, if I work all day.”

“Absolutely not. Run at night. I don’t want you out of my sight.”

“Do I get paid?”

His eyes narrow. He leans closer. “You’ve got some nerve, buddy…after the trouble you’ve caused. You should be paying us to baby sit.”

“Sorry. I thought you’d want me to have the full work experience.”

“Jesus, Hunter,” he says, “you are some bullshit artist. I guess you think this is a big joke, but if you don’t shape up, you’re in for a long hard road.”

“Dad, I don’t like Griffin. They have a lousy arts program and the choir’s bush league. They think we’re the Yale Alley Cats or something. It’s ludicrous…harmonizing went out with the dinosaurs.”

“Most of the school’s trustees and major donors are business people. For us, the arts are a road to the poorhouse.”

“That’s fucked up. Look at Steven Spielberg, and all the popular singers and actors. They’re not in the poorhouse, wherever that is.”

“But they’re so rare it doesn’t count…one or two out of thousands who fail.”

“Isn’t it worth trying? Why do you keep insisting I do something boring.”

“Boring? We want you to be able to support yourself. You think I’m going to pay for every harebrained scheme you come up with?”

“No, because I don’t come up with harebrained schemes.”

He rolls his eyes. “Come on. You don’t think you’re an airy-fairy kid? Not at all?”

I’m stunned. Airy-fairy? What the fuck’s that supposed to mean? Suddenly, I don’t give a rat’s ass. “Are you done?”

His face reddens and a vein pops out on his forehead. “Who the hell do you think you are? You’ve got some chip on your shoulder for someone who hasn’t accomplished squat.”

“What do you mean? I’m a good student and I run and sing. What else do you want me to do?”

“Shape up! Stop wasting our time.”

“Oh, nice Dad, Thanks a lot. I can see you have deep insight.”

He stands abruptly, points to the door. “Get to your room and stay there, and tomorrow at 7:30, I want you ready to go, dressed appropriately. No clown suits.”

To be continued… Read next episode!