GRANDFATHER: I will TELL YOU THE SECRET TO living as long as I have. ME: YOU died IN 1982 quit showing up and talking shit when i am in the kitchen huffing glue. / by Dante Sacomani

When my dad’s dad died, he died in 1993 and did it in someplace far way – Tbilisi, Addis Ababa or Akron, Ohio. I was not involved in family death-talk back then so who knows. I only knew someone called Bob was dead and it would be good if I could try and be sad. My dad also tried to be sad but – because he was an alcoholic who liked passing out at the wheel and crashing into mailboxes – i think he was happy b/c it was a new thing to handle poorly.

When he was younger, my dad’s dad was a USD currency forger. Once he almost got caught and had to move his whole family to Guadalajara to hide out. They lived in a little place next to an abandoned house with an outdoor pool full of rainwater. My dad’s dad told my dad and his siblings not to swim in it, but they did. Then one day my dad’s brother almost drowned playing a game called ‘Captain Submarines’, and they stopped. Not too long after that, my dad’s dad left that house secretly and never came back.

My dad didn’t go to his dad’s funeral. Instead, he took me to Burger King to spend time with his only son. He drove through two red lights on the way, and when we got there he said i could order anything i wanted. I picked apple slices, a bottle of milk and onion rings. He walked up to the register and ordered me a whopper with fries.

My dad said it was important to order and like the whoppers at burger king because he ordered and liked them too. For himself my dad ordered a large coke, which he drank through a straw and refilled with whiskey after every sip. Soon the people around us started to stare because my dad fell asleep with his face on the table. I tried to wake him up but couldn’t so I walked home from there. I never really saw him again after that.

So that’s why I always look through the windows of different burger kings when I walk by. Just checking in to see if he’s there, maybe sleeping or eating the whopper i left behind. Or maybe i am just checking myself out in the window’s reflection, making sure my hair looks good.