Friday, August 10, 2007

Jason and Girlfriend

Bridget told Jason and Collie to bump heads and let her know what they wanted as graduation gifts.

See, last spring Jason was graduating eighth grade and Collie was graduating fifth. My eldest son was off to high school, and my youngest son was headed to middle school. It was a momentous double occasion.

The boys immediately made it clear that they wanted—no, needed—an Xbox 360. The Xbox she gave them last year was great. The upgrade to Xbox Live was even better. But an Xbox 360 would rock.

Bridget had a fucking geek orgasm. She took the boys aside and they conspired. They decided a few things before Bridget brought it to me.

“I think they outgrew the Xbox,” she told me.

“Uh huh,” I nodded. “It has been a few months.”

“Come on, you have to do this. Halo Two! Guitar Hero Two!” she begged. “It’s done anyway. We are so against you on this. Another year or two and we won’t even ask you. They already know I’m the soft touch.”

“Well, I guess we can we hook the Xbox into the new Xbox 360 and then . . . “

“Please, don’t.” She wagged her head. “Don’t.”

The boys graduated. Jason asked about the promised Xbox 360.

“Brother,” I told him. “We are visiting family in July, and then you are camping with your mother. At best, you will see this game in August.”

He waited all of July.

His mother called from a campsite. As she passed the phone around, Jason said hello and asked, “So, did Bridget order the Xbox 360?”

“We’ve talked about it, but . . .”

“Do you know what color it is?”

“No. How’s camping?”

“Is it white or black?”

“No idea. Are you in a tent or a cabin?”

“A tent. Did she mention ‘elite?’”

“I didn’t ask, honey. Are you grilling or what?”

He sighed. “Yeah. You want to talk to Collie?”

Tonight, the kids and I had a date with Bridget. Lillie couldn’t let her go. It had been two months apart, which is too much for my baby girl.

Bridget had been sitting on the Xbox 360, itching to try it out with the boys.

Around midnight, Bridget headed home. Collie and Lillie were asleep. I checked in on Jason. He was putting his preternatural Pete Townsend windmills to Guitar Hero II.

Earlier, Bridget and I had enjoyed his quick mastery of Kansas. An hour later, he preferred The Police.

After she left, I busied myself with writing. By the time I checked back on him, Jason was playing “Search and Destroy.”

“Hey, isn’t that Iggy Pop?” I asked.

“The Stooges,” he corrected, his eyes on the screen. He banged his head, the fingers of his left hand wriggling the push-button frets of a plastic guitar. “You know this?”

“Damn straight, I know it.” I listened. “Cover band. How are you doing?”

Jason squashed yellow buttons as they passed on the screen. “Ninety seven percent.”

“Rock on,” I said. I went back to work, impressed that my son was thinking of Iggy, wondering about song rights.

The next time I checked in, Jason was singing and playing bass to Matthew Sweet’s “Girlfriend.”

(Hear it now at my MySpace.)

Tell you what, when I get to heaven, I want to meet my thirteen-year-old man singing perfect power pop though braces.

Extra credit for connecting to a theme song of his daddy’s secret life.

One day, we can talk about that first part of “Girlfriend,” all that business about the need to love and be loved.

Fuck knows I think about that. Fuck knows that is the hardest part.

And then, maybe we can get intense on that hook at the end.

I want to love somebody
I hear you need somebody to love
Oh, I want to love somebody
I hear you’re looking
For somebody to love

‘cause you need to be back
In the arms of a good friend
And I need to be back
In the arms of a girlfriend

I didn’t know nobody
And then I saw you coming my way
Oh I didn’t know nobody
And then I saw you coming my way

Don’t you need to be back
In the arms of a good friend?
Oh, ‘cause honey believe me
I’d sure love to call you
My girlfriend

Don’t you need to be back
In the arms of a good friend?
Oh, ‘cause honey believe me
I’d sure love to call you
My girlfriend

‘cause you
Got a good thing going baby
You only need somebody to love
Oh, you got a good thing going
You’re only looking
For someone to love
‘cause you need to get back
In the arms of a good friend

And I’m never gonna set you free
No I’m never gonna set you free


b said...

(semi)ironic lyrics...

leila said...

my friend 2 year old son has decided to be a rock star. he has his own little guitar which hangs over his bed when he's not playing it. there's a painfully cute video of tom on the piano while the kid bangs on his little guitar singing coldplay's "yellow". brings a tear to my eye and he's not even mine! and i hate coldplay.

Asian Big Girl said...

Damnit. Remind me to make him sing it for next time.

If not completely exhausted being a sitting post for Lillie, I would have remained all night, watching him play, I'm fascinated.

You know what's happenning, right? My weakness for skinny musicians. The long hair. The huge rock out he has playing that song. The fact *I* named the band.

Oh yeah, brother. It's official. *I* am his FIRST groupie.

You know, he helped me with the guitar when it was my turn. I think he likes me.

I'm doomed when Collie realizes his brother's way of playing is the way to get girls.

You know. More than now.

Glad you're home. So is Connor, as I can now stop sighing how I miss them.

Love you all. And always.

Just remember then when we outvote you in the future. ;)

Viviane said...

I'm so glad for you the kids are back.

The kid *will* grow up to be a rock star.

I imagine they're all 3 inches taller than the beginning of the summer....

Anonymous said...

wow, high school? I'm finally in my last year and can barely imagine the fact that I'm still around. Best of luck to you sir, we high school boys do tend to be quite hormonal and agitating.