Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day Two-Ninety-Nine: Father-Son Bonding

I've spent more time with my father today than I have in any day in the last five years. It is not a pleasant experience.

You've met Oswald the Farmer, right, diary? Hell, I know you have. He sat on you when he and my mom were visiting the castle. Pretty sure he farted into your cover. (I'm real sorry about that.) He's rude, crude, boorish, pig-headed, stubborn, violent, and way too strong for anyone's good. Losing an arm to a rampaging bull didn't slow him down at all.

Try spending long hours with such a man. Like, six long hours. It's NOT PLEASANT.

I have yet to reveal that I'm going to be the mayor of my own settlement. I came under the pretext that we're all planning to set up somewhere new to live, and that I want to ask Robert something. It's worked with my mom - she's just happy to dote on me again, filling my face with food and cooing at Grayson and whatnot - and the other farmers really don't give a crap… but my dad… he's another story.

Daddy dearest grew up in the Grand Imperium, in a shitty little town ostensibly ruled by a committee of peers, but ACTUALLY controlled by a lord. This lord let crime run rampant in his community, prompting my dad to move away when he was eighteen and start a farm somewhere more respectable. He helped form Villeinville in the first place. Having grown up in such a dangerous place, though, he came away with a few distinct character traits:

- A foul temper
- A belief that might makes right
- HUGE muscles
- A desire to shove his tiny nose into other people's business

When I was a kid, the first three traits were my primary concern. My business back then was helping out on the farm. There was nothing for him to learn, so he usually left me alone (though his haunting heckles occasionally floated out of the house in my direction). 

Now, I ACTUALLY have something to hide. I haven't told my parents, I haven't told ANYONE, why I'm really in Villeinville. And my dad, gods, he can smell the conspiracy wafting off my back.

Tired of tending to plants, I begged out of farm work today by claiming to have a sore back. This worked on my mom, who figured that years of being away from the farm had dulled my skills. (I think she tried to force Libby to work in my place. I doubt it happened - she's still way too relaxed to take orders. Such a departure from being too surly to take orders.) 

As soon as dad heard this excuse, he became suspicious.

"Sore back, huh? Well ain't that too bad. Mighty shame that the only son on hand can't help out his poor, ailing parents. Kinda neglected that your pa only has one fucking arm, haven't ya, Dragomir? Yep, mighty neglectful of ya. But, hey, if you've got a bad back, who am I to say otherwise? Better lie down for the day, eh?"

I told him, no, that wasn't the idea. I figured a walk might help me stretch my back. Maybe get me into working condition.

A long walk.

"Sounds peachy! A walk would be delightful. Damned-fuckin' prosperous, is how I'd put it. Let's go."


"Yep, don't want ya to mess up your spine while you're walkin'. I'll keep ya company. We can bond, or some shit, and I'll wait 'til ya give up on your fuckin' lie. We'll see who can last longer."

My PLAN today had been to scope out Villeinville in a way I'd never looked at it before: as a mayor. More, as a planner. I have a massive task ahead of me in developing a whole community, and I figured that this one would be a good template. Did the same at the last village we visited, 'n I made lotsa good notes on building placement, defences, vital buildings, layout of crops, all that nonsense. Had a notepad ready and everything…

… but I couldn't use it. Not with dad around. Couldn't let 'im know I was gonna become the mayor, because he'd immediately assume that I'd fuck it up. He'd try and take over. At best I'd be a puppet mayor. NOT what I had in mind. 

So we walked. Around and around and around the town, we walked. Whenever I lapsed into silence and tried to make careful observations, dad would barge in and ask what I was on about. If I ever tried to ask 'innocent' questions, he'd transform into a detective and grill me for details. If I tried to stop for a break - might be Autumn, now, but it's still pretty hot in the sun - he'd berate me ceaselessly. Call me names, say I was no good, that sorta thing. I'm used to it now, but gods, it's tiresome.

I held strong, and after six gruelling hours of unconstructive lies and fatherly growling, he gave up. Noticed that Bora had opened the Beefiary for the evening, and rushed in to partake of her liquor. Bless that woman and her sexy ways, she gave me an hour to ACTUALLY do something useful before the sun set.

Dad's been at Bora's all night. Mom's cooking dinner in the kitchen. Libby's on our bed, Grayson on her lap. I'm sitting in the doorway, feet up, writing. It's been a long day.

Ugh. Robert, get the hell back here. With or without you, I'm leaving TOMORROW.


Dragomir the Mayor

1 comment: