Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ephemera ever after.

"I hope you're not looking for your bank card." The Little Bastard said, smiling, as he watched me rifle through my wallet.

"No." I thought. "I'm looking for a condom, so I can go back in time about 16 years."

"Because it's in my sofa." he continued.

With that, the me inside my head lunged across the table and grabbed the asshole by the throat, wrestling him to the ground.

The other me, let out a resigning sigh, and said, "Please tell me you're kidding."

It had been a particularly hellish week, and we'd wheeled into the Lion's Head for a little sustenance and a vodka cooler. As it turns out, the Little Bastard had borrowed my bank card earlier in the day, and like most things that go missing, it somehow managed its way into the teenage abyss that is his sofa. I say his sofa, because it's as close to a man cave as he's going to get – and as soon as he moves out – I'm dragging it to the curb, and setting it on fire, using his collection of broken goalie sticks as kindling.

Suddenly, faced with the dilemma of having no money to pay the bill, I had little choice but to drive home to fetch the card.

"Do you know exactly where my bank card is?" I asked, stupidly, wondering where in proximity to the dent his boney ass has carved out in the corduroy sectional that was nice for about 2.5 hours, about 7 years ago.

Just as the Little Bastard was about to speak, the waiter arrived. I told him, the waiter, that I was leaving, but the Little Bastard was staying, and I may, or may not be back. In the meantime, get him, pointing at the Little Bastard, to wash dishes or scrub toilets or whatever, because I did not care. And I stormed out.

The Little Bastard's sofa was covered with shit from one end to the other. Ice cream sandwich wrappers, skates, headphones, corn pad, Subway napkins, socks, xBox controllers, a plate, mid-term report card, 2 hideous-yet-identical hockey jackets, boogers, chemistry notes, the Lindbergh baby, dog hair, baseball mitt, a pair of boxers, what may or may not be the end of a turkey bacon ranch sub, and a Bandaid.

But no bank card.

I bent down and felt an excruciating pain where my jeans were cutting me in half. I unbuttoned my pants – already regretting my decision to go with the suicide wings instead of just plain suicide – and got down on all fours.

There was nothing resembling a bank card under the sofa, but if anyone is missing a furry bathing suit let me know.

With that, I got up, and lifted the cushion. The cushion on which the Little Bastard spends most of his waking hours.

That cushion.

I won't describe what was under that cushion, but I managed to scrape up $11.57 worth of sticky coins coated with fluff.

But no bank card.

By this time, the vodka had worn off and I was sweating like a pig. I fired up the computer and transferred money from my account to the Little Bastard's account. I knew exactly where his bank card was, because it seldom leaves the wallet on his bedside table.

Then I drove back to the Lion's Head. Slowly. With my pants undone.

He was waiting for me outside, and quickly ran in to settle our tab. After the deafening silence that was our ride home, I instructed my offspring to clean his TV room, including the sofa.

"Get the vacuum out of the basement and suck up all that crap, because anything that doesn't get sucked up, or put away, is going in the garbage."

I continued.

"When you're done, you are officially banned from sitting on anything upholstered in this house until further notice." And I went to bed.

The next day, the Lodge at White Point burned down. In a heartbeat, I no longer cared that he was slowly slinking from the hard kitchen chair, back on to his sofa. I started working for White Point back in 1995, when I couldn't get my pants done up because there was a 10-pound baby brewing inside. That was 16 years ago, this month – and they have been the fixed mark on my turbulent horizon ever since.

Throughout his lifetime, the Little Bastard and I have not only been guests at White Point – they have been our family. Waiters have watched him grow, marvelling at how he got to be so tall eating nothing but beige food. We've napped on the beach. Learned to golf. I pretended to LOVE burnt marshmallows. We played endless games of chess by the fire in Founders Lounge. We even squabbled like family on occasion – but we never went to bed mad, and we always raised a glass, or two, before tucking in under the old White Point wool blankets I'd pull out of the bureau.

So, I dream of the day when I can set the Little Bastard's sofa ablaze – but when that time comes – will I be able to torch life's lost and found?

Because memories, and love, are all that really matters.

And there isn't a bank card in the world that can compete with that.


For updates on the Lodge rebuild, frequent whitepoint.com