(Warning: contains a profanity.)
About sixteen years ago, my dear friend Domi’s son Lars was coming to Seattle for a couple of weeks. I was going to Kansas for those weeks, so I agreed to let him stay in my one-bedroom dump on Aurora North (Shoreline). Lars was about 18, if I recall right. Really nice kid, responsible, intelligent, great family. No worries in the world.
Before I left, I said to Lars: “There’s only one rule, besides don’t misplace the keys. Do not have anyone over. Anyone. At all. I trust you but I can’t know some random other people. So, just do not do that. Okay?” He agreed.
Very good. I went off to Kansas and did all my usual Kansas things. Two weeks later I came home. Lars was there. Howdied him, asked how his time had gone. Small talk, but it was quite evident something was on his mind. I waited. Lars was always a good kid, so I knew he’d fess sooner or later.
“Jonathan, there’s something I have to tell you.”
“Yeah? What’s up?”
“Well, I had some people over.” He looked somewhat miserable.
“You did what?” Now, it’s not my way to raise my voice much, but when I’m somewhat angry I can be animated. I had to pretend to be a little angrier than I was, but not overdo it, because it had taken some serious decency to fess and I had a lot of respect for Lars. What came out was a series of chilly, annoyed sentences, jabbed like icepicks:
“Did I somehow fail to be clear as to what was expected? Was there a life in danger? Was there some compelling benefit to this? Did I mishear you when you agreed? Did I ask a great deal of you? Was that unreasonable to ask? Did I in some way do you wrong, or make you feel that it would be just fine to make casual disregard of this one clear request?” Each time, I let him answer, then kept on. I watched him carefully because I was pretty sure he was near tears. Yeah, I was punishing him a bit, and I felt a little mean, but at these times one has to make the point sink in. Plus, I was authentically annoyed.
When I figured he’d had enough, and he did not try to argue or offer a bunch of childish excuses, it was time for the finish. “Lars, I have one question from you, and I expect a candid answer. Think carefully before you respond.”
“Okay.” Poor kid looked like it was his worst day on earth, but he was still in there taking his medicine. Had to hand it to him.
I put a little extra snarl into it. “DID YOU FUCK IN MY BED?”
“No!” His shocked look and quick answer confirmed that he was being honest, as he had done all along. Good lad. Time to break the ice.
Incredulous quizzical look and tone: “Well…why NOT, boy?!!” Then I laughed.
So did he.