|Daniel Ciin | Ares (thouros) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-09-22 14:53:00
|Entry tags:||ares, maui|
I guess when I looked at the truth
Who: Kal and Daniel
What: catching up over vinyl and beats
Where: the Beat Swap Meet
When: September 10th, 4:30 p.m.
"Honestly I just like lookin' at the art, most times," Daniel said, stopping in front of the third booth in a row. Milk crates lined with bubble wrap held a wealth of records, ranging in quality from pristine to the utterly battered. Daniel was far too frugal for the former, and quickly made his way to leafing through the latter. "Like Kent, that Swedish band? I guess they've broken up now, but they had this awesome cover that was, I dunno, clay figures or somethin'. A skeleton in a fedora…" Chuckling, he paused, one hand on a well-loved copy of Gogol Bordello's Pura Vida Conspiracy. He lifted it from the bin, angling it sideways to show Kal. "That's cool, though."
He put the record back in its place, then wandered away from the booth, his head swivelling as he sought out a concessions stand. "I dunno about you, but I could use a beer. I wanna ask you about somethin' and I think it'll go better with alcohol."
Kal shot a look at Daniel, one brow raising high as he considered what Daniel had said. He shifted a collection of records in the crook of his arm and nodded. “Yeah, alcohol is always good. Let me just buy these and we’ll go.” It had been a nice afternoon and Kal had expanded his record collection considerably, or would once the cashier got his iPad register to work. The man looked like he hadn’t seen sobriety since before Woodstock and the iPad was far beyond his understanding, but Kal was patient enough. Sticking his hands into his jean pockets he looked at his friend again. “You aren’t going to pop the question to Chris or something, are you? I know kuku would be thrilled but, like, don’t succumb to peer pressure.”
Daniel laughed, shaking his head. "Are you kiddin'? I'd be happy with him walkin' kinda close to me in public. Marriage." He snorted. "Kuku better not hold her breath for that."
Impatient, Daniel leaned over the counter. "It's that button right there, my dude. Just… just press it. Right. Great." Thankfully the cashier's current state ensured he had few objections to having this customer in his personal space. He rang up Kal's purchases without further dawdling, and soon the two were back on their way. Daniel guided them both toward the nearest craft beer stand, where they joined the ever-growing line. He chewed the tip of his tongue, fighting to keep from jumping directly into the many questions he had.
"So… how was this last trip? You glad to get away for a while?"
Kal’s eyes narrowed slightly, but he didn’t prod Daniel for more info and went along with the gentle drifting topic, choosing honesty over anything else. “I always want to travel, you know, that wanderlust thing. So I always like getting away. The trip was great, Alaska is kick ass, but you know… well now you really know, my grandmother isn’t doing the best. It’s worrisome.” He moved his hand slightly, allowing the bagged records to bump against his knee as he looked to the ground.
Returning home from Alaska only to discover that not only had his grandmother forgotten he was going away--despite that he had kept telling her repeatedly that he’d be gone--but that she had taken it upon herself to go to the apartment was concerning. He knew things were getting rough with her, but it seemed to be rapidly developing at this point.
"Yeah… I'm sorry, man." Daniel frowned. "She's really sweet. Reminds me a little of my amà. Chris and I are gonna look out for her, though, OK? Whether you're here or not. So try not to worry too much." He quirked an off-kilter smile. "Easier said than done, I know." They moved up a few paces in line; Daniel ducked his head around the queue, trying to see precisely how far back they were. He sighed, shoulders slumping, as he looked back to Kal.
"I bet she wants to see your pictures," he continued. "We should go over there some time, the three of us. Not that that's an excuse to eat more of her delicious food, but…"
Kal laughed, a deep-in-his-belly, barking laugh that he was so known for. “Are you sure you want to do that? When I spoke to her after coming back she was talking about how handsome you are and how she wishes you two could have babies. I think she’s given up on me, she’d love great grandkids but I’m too flighty so she’s turning her hopes to you two. You’re sure the food is worth her fawning over you both the entire time?” He smiled, obviously thinking it was well worth it, if only to see Chris get uncomfortable and to bring kuku joy.
"I love the fawning," Daniel admitted. "And she's not wrong. We'd have gorgeous children." He tapped a finger to his lips, carefully considering how best to talk Chris into such a visit. It might lift his spirits, after all, given everything that had happened of late. Which turned his thoughts back to his original question, and darkened his expression once more.
"So, uh… I wanted to ask you…"
Their turn came up in line. Daniel hurriedly ordered a rich, dark lager and darted off to the side. His wallet already out, he paid for Kal's drink before his companion could say otherwise. As they waited for their beer, he allowed himself a small, fretful look.
"What can you tell me about Chris' dad?"
Kal’s earlier humor vanished from his face and in place was nothing but serious study of his friend. Kal could go from a big lug of pure joy to serious quickly, but as he was strong enough to display utter joy, his strength also lay in almost appearing frightening when he grew serious. Now, unfortunately, was one of those moments as it always was when the topic of Chris’s father came up.
“He’s a low life and a piece of shit, if you want me to be honest,” Kal replied as a hand went to rest on the edge of the counter and his thumb began to drum a beat against the edge.
Daniel arched a black brow. "I do. Can't say I'm surprised. That's kinda the impression I'd gotten of him." He reached for the beer the bartender passed him, stepping neatly away from the line to allow others to pass. His voice dropped to a lower tone, though the likelihood of their being overheard was slim to none. "You mind if I ask why? Like… somethin' specific happen, or is it just a general kinda shittiness?"
Kal pressed his lips together, his gaze falling somewhere else beyond Daniel. “We both had similar childhoods, you know? We both were fatherless. I think it’s part of the reason we got along well together. He was raised by his mom and grandparents, I was raised by my grandmother. His mom and grandparents busted their asses to make things work for the better and to the best of my knowledge, Chris never knew much about his dad. He was always sort of obsessed with it though, he always wanted to know about him.
“I didn’t like the idea though, I went down that road, I wanted to know more about my father and I got burnt in the end. A father who abandons his kid and makes zero effort to know the kid for fifteen or more years is sure to just be a disappointment.” Kal paused to take a sip of his beer, swallowing and remaining silent for a moment before he moved closer to Daniel, keeping his voice low. “He got more obsessed with meeting his dad the older we got. When I graduated from high school and went to Hawaii for college, it was hard to keep track of Chris. You know, college, it’s sort of overwhelming. But still, we kept in contact and he announced that he met his dad. I tried to be understanding--Chris already knew my opinion about it all--but it seemed his dad was interested in him. Gave him a job, established some type of a relationship, you know.”
Daniel nodded. With the tip of his tongue he swiped a bit of foam from his lips, studying the stormy look that remained on Kal's face. His hand had tightened around his beer, but he could not have said when. "Yeah. What good is a toxic relationship, though. You ever wonder what he'd be like if his dad had just... stayed gone?"
Kal took a slow breath in, his chest broadening with the intake of air, and he shook his head. “He would’ve stayed the same,” Kal replied, his voice heavy with the loss of the Chris he used to know. “Chris was different in high school. I mean, we all were, but he was more happy, more adventurous. We’d get into so much shit together. He started the majority of that shit, too. Then he got hurt while I was in school and his piece of shit father suddenly lost interest in him. I think he had something to do with it all, you know? His father. I think he may have been what got Chris into the gang shit.
“If Chris hadn’t gotten hurt, I don’t think he would’ve lost the spark that made him him and his piece of shit father is to blame for that. The asshole did this to him. The asshole never cared for him and he just proved it time and time again.”
Daniel frowned against the rim of his beer, collecting his thoughts as he took another long sip. The picture painted by both Kal and Chris was not a pleasant one; again Daniel found himself feeling immense sadness for his partner, and no small amount of anger toward the father who had so badly wounded him. There was no reason to dig any further, no need to delay the revelation any longer than was necessary. He looked to Kal, his sorrow shining in his dark eyes.
"I'm glad I never met him," Daniel said. "I probably would've said some shit that would've made us all uncomfortable." He drew a slow, deep breath. "He's dead. I dunno if Chris told you."
Kal’s eyes flicked to Daniel’s for a brief moment and registered that the man was telling the truth. Then he stood up a little straighter, his gaze drifting off to look at a spot in the distance, and he took in a breath. Careful observation could catch the flicker of different emotions on Kahale’s face, but the man remained silent as the news processed.
At first, it was surprise, followed by the immediate worry for Chris and how he was doing. But then, there was the question of why he hadn’t told Kal. Chris knew well enough that Kal hated his father, but he should have understood that Kal would have been there for him during his loss. For a moment, there was the burning rush of jealousy that Daniel knew and not himself. And finally, shamefully, a sense of… pleasure and even relief that Chris’s father was dead.
“Good,” Kal finally replied, his eyes still carefully gazing away from Daniel. He worried that if he looked at his friend, he’d too easily have all of his thoughts exposed. “He didn’t tell me though, no...how is he doing? With the news.”
"Oh, you know." Daniel shrugged. His eyes had not left Kal's face. He read what he could of the warring emotions there, knowing he was likely misinterpreting more than a few. He kept his thoughts on this to himself, leaving Kal some measure of privacy. He took a bracing sip of beer. Then: "Shovin' it all down, tryin' to pretend he's fine. I basically had to bully him into even tellin' me what was wrong." He conveniently avoided the issue of the gun; he had no intentions of revealing its existence, or the fact that he was doing his level best to help Chris get rid of it.
"I wouldn't say he's sad about it," he continued. "But it's his dad, y'know? Even as shitty as he was, there's no changin' that."
Kal nodded, taking a sip of his drink as he did. “Yeah, I get you,” he replied with a sigh. “It’s awful, for Chris, but I can’t help but feel sort of relieved, you know? Maybe this will help Chris to get more on the straight and narrow, and all that.” He scratched at his head and looked at his friend. “So, should Chris know that I know? Or are we keeping secrets?”
"Fuck no," Daniel said. "I'll tell him I told you if you want. But I want you to talk to him about it. Maybe you'll get more out of him than I could. Maybe he'll let you help him through it, since you knew the guy and all. I dunno." He drained his beer and set the empty glass back on the bar. His shoulders sagged slightly. "I worry about him."
“As you should,” Kal replied as he lifted the beer to his lips and swallowed the rest of the amber liquid. “I’ll let you clue Chris in, but do it soon. Just tell him that I know and that I’ll be banging down his door soon. Fight as he may, I’ll get him to talk.” Daniel nodded, unsuccessfully fighting back a frown. Sitting his glass down he looked at Daniel and smiled. “You definitely have your hands full with him. But if you ever need me to step in, just tell me.
“So! You wanna get another round or should we head home?”
"Home," Daniel said. "I'm thinkin' a blunt and a couple of those records you bought will fix more than another beer would." He clapped a hand on Kal's broad shoulder, returning his friend's smile as sincerely as he could manage. Together they set out of the park and off for home.