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I Put A Hit Out On My Son

Assassin's Creed: Towering Above The Rest
Photo Credit: Pricer45

Sometimes a boy needs to be made to understand that his father is a Man.

I didn't need much reminding growing up. My father had and still has huge hands, was always throwing concrete over his back, going upside my head or doing something ridiculously inhuman that had me half in awe of him and half resenting him.

Apartment living has limited my ability to work around the house the way I know how to. I inherited my father's strength but not his mitts. And I don't go upside anyone's head. I've talked about this often in the past on this blog. Maybe I'm scared of my own strength exacted against a child. Maybe I don't trust that my son is built like me, rock headed and willful enough to constantly bring on the wrath of a man the way I would incur the wrath of a country and civil rights bred man who's seen more than I'll ever see.

I also didn't have 300+ friends on Facebook cajoling me into thinking I was something special.

About a month ago (a few days before my son was diagnosed as being potentially learning disabled) I received a call from my son's high school. I sighed and debating answering but relented. I sighed again and took a deep breath:


"Hello, Mr. Payne...?" asked the school disciplinarian. The entire conversation went downhill from there. The news was that he had been fighting in the hallway and cutting classes. After I got off the phone I sank into my couch, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I was so tired of getting calls from the school. I was so tired of not knowing what to do. I was so tired of being tired of this boy. I wasn't that upset about the fight. The disciplinarian couldn't even tell me who was involved or what caused it. She hadn't completed her "investigation" yet. I almost laughed when she told me this. For all I knew my son could've been defending himself. But the class cutting is what got me. It meant he had been lying to me about where he had been during the day. He hadn't been doing the only thing he was supposed to do: be a student.

Suddenly I felt all of my father's ways downloading into me from some unknown server somewhere. My body quaked with energy and anger. I began to pace. I started rubbing my hands, swollen from 2 weeks of boxing. I was breathing heavily as if I had run a race. I marched into his room and stripped it of all his electronic toys, but I left all the wires on the floor. I had the door half unhinged from it's frame when I realized I was bending the frame (as a renter this really isn't my place). After a few minutes of brainstorming I took out the doorknob and bolted the door to the wall behind it so it couldn't move. I turned his cellphone off and returned to the couch.

I sat there fuming feeling that I hadn't done enough. I wanted to hurt him. I wanted him to feel how angry I was and not just be a witness to it.

"I'm gonna kill him," I said out loud. "I'm gonna whoop his..."

Feeling completely out of control I put word out on the street via my wife. "He can't come here. Not while I'm here. If he doesn't I'm gonna break every piece of furniture in the living room because he's not making it through the front door on his feet...he's not even making it out of the hallway. Babygirl isn't going to understand what I'm doing to her brother. And I'm not tryin' to get thrown out of this building."

To this my wife, normally very protective of her son, not from her fury, but mine, simply said, "Okay."

A few minutes after that the plan was set. My father and law would pick him up and hold onto him while my wife came home from work. I'd get the girl and go somewhere for a while. She assured me she'd take care of it and asked me to leave a belt out on the bed.

That night I took my daughter to McD's where she bumped into a friend and they both had their faces painted. But not before I saw the boy. I was on my way out the door when I heard a timid knock. I flung open the door and looked him square in the eyes the way one does a nosy neighbor. He took a step back.

"What are you doing here?" I growled.

"Mom is downstairs with grandpa," he answered looking at the floor. My fists were balled but his sister was right behind me trying to say hello to him. I let him pass, picked her up and left my home immediately. I had almost gotten out without incident. But more importantly, he saw me... saw what was in my eyes and carnally understood his place at Casa del E.Payne.

After the smoke cleared it turned out that my son's cuts weren't cuts but a glitch in the school's attendance system. The fight was him horsing around in the hallway with a buddy from the football team, something just as inexcusable (but I understood how it happened). And the disciplinarian's investigation uncovered nothing but her bias toward my son as he was the only one who got punished. I held onto his stuff for a week, kept his phone off for a few days and kept his door open for a month. Just because I could. Just because he needed to know what will be waiting for him when he comes home should he choose to act silly out in public. Just like I did so many years ago.

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