“Rick? Hello?”
“Hey! The big gringo!”
“Hey dude. What’s up? Everything cool?”
“Oh yeah. Just chillin.”
“Nothing wrong?”
“What?”
“Nothing wrong? I saw on my phone I missed a call from you and one from Tom this afternoon.”
“So you figured somebody died or something?”
“Yeah I did. I hate it but yeah that’s where my mind goes when I miss a call.”
“Nah nobody dead, I was calling to say what’s up.”
“Okay cool.”
“So what’s up? How you been?”
“Work sucks a lot and it’s got me down, lots of stress. My kids are real cute though, and I been exercising more, some rock climbing at the gym and more running.”
“That’s cool.”
“I’ve gotten into the running thing, I feel like I walk around with my teeth clenched constantly but I run and like the first 15 minutes or so suck but then I relax other than my leg muscles, and I just feel real calm for the rest of the 20 minutes or so.”
“That’s great.”
“I been starting to work on running longer distances because I want to have more of that feeling. Anyway, your turn, how you been? It’s been a minute since we talked.”
“How’m I doing? Well I ain’t worked in two months.”
“That good or bad?”
“Both. Mostly bad. No money. I liked the free time but I been getting restless.”
“Sorry man.”
“It’s cool.”
“What else? Anything else?”
“Well, yeah actually, I got some big news.”
“Hit me.”
“My girlfriend’s pregnant.”
“Okay. How you feel about that?”
“I feel good.”
“Great. I’m real happy for you. Being a parent is a trip and intense but I love it, it’s my favorite thing.”
“Yeah, I’m into it.”
“How pregnant is she?”
“Two months.”
“Okay. So kinda early. I can’t remember when all this happens, have you found out if it’s a boy or a girl?”
“Nah. I don’t think we’re gonna, I like the surprise and Shana’s into that too.”
“Alright. Cool. I’m really happy for you like I said. Very cool. You ever want to talk parent and baby stuff, let me know, I love talking about that shit.”
“Thanks, I appreciate that.”
“You tell Mom and Dad?”
“Yeah.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah. Dad didn’t say nothing. He just was quiet. I said ‘well I just wanted you to know Dad.’”
“That’s fucked up. He should of been happy for you.”
“Yeah.”
“Yeah. When your kid’s having a kid and they’re keeping it, you be happy for them. It’s what you’re supposed to do.”
“He’s not good with feelings.”
“No.”
“Mom’s pulling some bullshit too.”
“Of course.”
“She’s telling Shana she’s gonna kill herself if I move out.”
“What the fuck?”
“Yeah.”
“I thought you moved out.”
“I did but I moved back in and that was my mistake. Been a few months.”
“She shouldn’t say that, that’s fucked up too.”
“Yeah.”
“Hey if you don’t mind me asking, did she say that stuff when you were little?”
“Oh hell yeah she did. She said that for as long as I can remember, I can’t remember before she said that, like when I was three or four.”
“Me too. She said that the whole time I was a kid too. I didn’t know if she pulled that with you and Tom too.”
“She did.”
“Fuck.”
“Yeah. She don’t mean it and she won’t do it, it’s just her way to express some feelings.”
“She still shouldn’t do it.”
“No, yeah, you’re right, she shouldn’t, it pisses me off when she pulls that shit.”
“Me too. It used to really upset me but after while when I got a little older I was like ‘hey you always say this all the time, if you’re really gonna do it then do it, otherwise don’t, and either way stop saying this all the time.’ It was one of the huger fights we got into.”
“Yeah I had pretty much the same fight with her when I got older too.”
“She said it less after that and when she did I didn’t take it to heart as much.”
“Me too.”
“Still that’s a fucked up response. She’s supposed to be happy for you and be supportive and shit. That’s what parents are supposed to do, good parents I mean.”
“Yeah.”
“Well I’m sorry Rick. For what it’s worth I’m real happy for you, and her and Dad shouldn’t be like that.”
“They won’t change.”
“No, I wish I could be hopeful they will but no they won’t. They’re too old. It’s still wrong though.”
“Yeah. They’re my parents and I love them but they really ain’t right, they shouldn’t be like that how they are. Like they’re always crying to me about money.”
“That shit drives me crazy! We’re broke as fuck what with the kids and my shitty job but they still do that with me!”
“Tell me about it. I’m helping pay the damn mortgage and last month she spent five hundred bucks on weed.”
“God damn.”
“She’s talking about quitting her job now too, I just know she’s gonna be hitting me up for money again.”
“That sucks.”
“Aw hey man you know what I’m sorry to just unload on you, I didn’t mean – I don’t want to be all heavy-”
“No it’s cool Rick I don’t mind. It’s good to talk about this stuff. Our parents are kinda crazy and no one else had them as our parents and because we didn’t have any other parents I feel like it’s easy to forget they’re crazy, because who can you compare them to? How do we know what normal parents are supposed to be like? Know what I mean?”
“Yeah.”
“So it’s good to talk about this stuff to get a reminder of this sometimes, that they’re not right.”
“Yeah.”
“Hey I don’t want to – I don’t know how to say this. I used to worry a lot, because of how we were brought up, that maybe I would be like that with my kids. I’m not though. It’s possible to not be like that. I don’t know if that’s something you worry about. I went to a lot of counseling about that.”
“No I ain’t worried about it, I’m not going to be like that, I know it.”
“Okay, cool, I wasn’t trying to say you would, just that because I worried about it I wanted to see if you did, and to ease that for you.”
“I understand, I appreciate it.”
“Cool.”
“So do you think it would be better if I moved out?”
“I do. My relationship with Mom and Dad has always been better when I’m not living with either of them or needing them. The more I’m on my own two feet, or at least leaning on people other than them, the better I get along with them.”
“Yeah me too, that makes sense. It’s hard because I ain’t worked in a while, money’s tight.”
“I understand. You do what you can, but you asked about moving out, I think it’d be better, if you can.”
“Mom won’t like it.”
“No, but it’s good for you man and it’s probly good for her too, even if she won’t like it.”
“Yeah.”
“Can you swing a place right now? You got any money saved?”
“Yeah, I can, I got some cash for now. I gotta find some work though.”
“For real. Our food stamps just kicked in, we’re still really hurting though. Times are hard.”
“They are. But yeah you’re right, I should get out of here.”
“Good luck, and if she gets mad try not to let it get to you. She’s gonna get mad about something no matter what.”
“Yeah. Well listen I should run, I gotta get someplace.”
“Okay Rick. Hey real quick I know we talked about some heavy stuff here, I want to say, above all I’m real happy for you and Shana and I’m excited that our kids will be cousins.”
“Thanks I appreciate that. I love you. I’ll talk to you in a few days.”
“Love you too man. Later.”
“Later.”

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