So, I pulled up in front of Joey’s house at 6:30 this morning. I was going to take him to school. As I got out of car and walked to the front door, I saw a pice of paper jammed between door and frame. It was a note from his “real” grandpa reminding Joey not to “walk in the middle of the street…on the way to the bus stop…” and to “…watch out for cars coming up behind…” him. I put it back where I found it after reading, knocked and waited for Joey or his mom to come to the door.

Joey pulled the door open, grabbed the note before it hit the floor and tore it to shreds.”That was from your Paw Paw,”I said.


“Really,” I said. “And it was nice for once.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Right for sure. He’s worried about your safety.”

“Like I said. Yeah, right.”

Joey walked past me, book bag across on shoulder, and headed for my car. He was sittin shotgun, seat belt on by the time I slid into the driver’s seat. He was scowling and would not make eye contact. I knew better than to ask but, still, I said, “What’s the matter?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“Okay,”I said and started the car. Joey was silent for about a minute before he said, “Yesterday, the door was locked when I came home after school so I knocked and, right after Mom opened the door for me, she fainted and had to go to the hospital.”

“She’s in the hospital now?”

“No, she came home 4 hours later. Fainted again and had to go back to the hospital.”

“Were you scared?”

“You kiddin…I’m used to it.”

“How can you get used to that?”

“Anyway, I’m hungry. Can we get some breakfast.”

We had time so we stopped and Joey ordered a Big Breakfast w/ Bacon and I had oatmeal. Joey wanted a newspaper because Obama was on the front page. 

“Why’s Obama in the news,” he asked.

“He’s the president and he was on television last night talking about Syria.”

“What’s Syria?”

So, I spent most of our breakfast trying to explain civil war, chemical weapons, despotism, diplomacy, strategic missile strikes, The Middle East and a do nothing Congress to a 9 year old. He asked a lot of questions, made comments and formed an opinion. He asked to keep it between the two us so I won’t reveal it in this post. But I have to say, it was the most satisfying and productive conversation I’ve had in months.

Twenty minutes later, I dropped him off at school.




About joefingas

I am a songwriter, poet, blues singer, and a boogie woogie piano player. I have a grandson but I have no children of my own. All my women have wised up and left me. I was a bum, a wino, a drug/alcohol counselor, a prevention/intervention specialist and a pretender. I have no more time to pretend.
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