Little Pisser. That’s what they used to call Tim when he was a boy. It all started when he was six years-old. Twenty-two years ago in this park, on Father’s Day, his life would take an unexpected turn that would change his world forever.
He and his friends were playing kick ball in the neighborhood – trying their utmost to kick the ball hard enough to leave massive bruises on each other. The bet was – whoever gets the most bruises would be called Sissy for a week. Yes – they were having a blast.
When out of nowhere – enter the neighborhood bullies.
Every neighborhood has and had them. A group of teenage boys with too much testosterone for their own good, wandering around looking for anyone to torment or anything to destroy – just because.
Well, on that day – they aimed their full attention on seven six-year old buddies cavorting in the park.
At first they made fun of the boys – “Look at these sissies acting like tough guys.” One of the teen bullies ran around in circles flapping his hands, “Oooh. That hurt. Oooh. Oooh.”
At first the boys tried to ignore the bullies. Their reputation preceded them and there was no sense in incurring their wrath. Once they targeted someone to harass, rumor had it you were on their hit list for life. When you are six years old “for life” definitely sound like a long time. So, the boys tried moving their kickball to the other side of the park, hoping that the teen’s would lose interest in them and find people their own age to bother. But alas, on that day “out of sight, out of mind” was not the operating theme of the day.
The teens did more than follow the boys, they joined the game. Now, Tim had always been a short tempered child. Even when he was an infant – if his mother even dared to keep him waiting for a feeding or a diaper change, the whole neighborhood would hear the sound of his howls for hours. So, today in true Tim form, he felt a rush of frustration heavily infused with fury as the teens not only kicked the ball at them, but kicked them! The band of miscreant teenagers aimed their timberland clad boots at the boys’ bottoms and kicked them – hard. Tim felt the steel toed boot connect with his rear and and suddenly he flew about two feet off the ground and fell on his face. As his attacker stopped and gave his pals a high-five, Tim got to his feet and started to run home to get his bat.
As he got the park gate, he was the teens’ bikes resting on a tree out of view of the massacre on the field. Everyone in the neighborhood knew about these teen’s bikes – they were their prize possessions. Their names were spray painted on the handle bars. They had dragons painted on the frame. They had – hands down – the coolest bikes in the whole neighborhood.
He stopped. Pulled out his six-year-old penis and peed on the bikes.
Just then, his attacker caught up with him.
“Hey! You Little Pisser! I’m going to kill you!”
Tim was pretty sure he could and most likely would kill him, but he didn’t care – he had “wolved” his enemy. He and his friends had read about how wolves marked their territory with urine. He might not be able to take down his enemies today, but their precious bikes would have his scent for life.
Tim quickly pushed his penis back in his pants and picked up a branch, a poor substitute for his bat, but good enough to leave a few welts on his attacker’s knee caps. With his feet planted on the ground, he took a deep breath and prepared for the impact of the punch that would most likely knock him out – when suddenly he heard a familiar bellow.
“Hey you! What da fuck are ya doin’?”
It was his father.
Tim didn’t know much about genetics but he had heard a lot about “chips off of old blocks” – and he was said to be a chip off of his father’s block. The moment he felt his dad’s thick callus hands grabbing his arm and yanking him out of harm’s way he knew “I’m safe.”
His dad’s other hand was balled in a lethal fist as it flew through the air and connected with Tim’s assailant’s face send him sailing in the air backwards, and landing unconscious a few feet behind where he had been standing.
“What’s going on here, Timmy?”
“Those guys came around and started beating up on us.”
Tim pointed to melee on the field.
“And you were running away?” his father asked with a tone of disapproval.
“Nah! I was running home to get my bat!”
His father looked in his eyes. Tim’s father was known as the human lie detector, which was a pretty useful title for a homicide detective. With a nod, he set Tim on his feet, “Grab your branch and let’s put an end to this crap. Oh and don’t think I didn’t see you wolfing those boys bikes.”
Tim’s dad didn’t smile, but the twinkle in his eyes belied his firm tone as he barked, “You Little Pisser.”
As father and son joined the battle on the field, Tim felt like he was Robin and his dad was Batman as they dispatched with the tyrannical lot. He pulled his friends to safety as his dad gave the five bullies a beat down that would become a part of neighborhood legend.
“He flew in like an Avenger Dad..”
“He picked this one jerk up over his head, and it was like bowling for dollars…he knocked those other punks down like pins.”
With tears in his eyes, Tim envisioned his dad 22 years ago – tough, indomitable avenger defending the weak, correcting a wrong, standing up for his son. That’s who his father had always been. Tim wiped the tears from his eyes and felt thick, long fingers on his face – his father’s fingers. His cellphone rang. As he answered, he saw his reflection in the face of his iphone – his father’s eyes, mouth, nose, forehead. He was his father’s son. And even though he had been a pallbearer in his funeral earlier that day – his father would live forever in his heart, in his soul, in his DNA. With that thought he declined his girlfriend’s call and put his phone back in his pocket.
“Little Pisser,” were the last words his dad had whispered with a barely perceptible smile on his lips as Tim had hugged him hello at the hospital. After a few minutes of sharing his recent exploits overseas on his latest Marine Corps Reserves assignment, his father had closed his eyes, and fallen asleep – never to wake up again. His father had called him “Little Pisser” after that day in the park 22 years ago, and Tim had hated it – until that moment. As he stood there next to his father’s cancer-ravaged body watching him sleep, he knew that his father’s deep, gruff voice hadn’t been criticizing him with that nickname over the years. He’d been loving him.
Tim wished he could take back all the years he had wasted keeping his distance from his father, proving that he was “a man.” He wished he’d been there for him during his early battle with brain cancer and not serving in Germany. But he’d thought he had time. He father had been 50 years old when he died last week. Tons of people survived cancer, and Tim had been certain that if anyone would break free of cancer it would be his brawny, powerful dad.
With one last look at the field, Tim wiped the stream of tears that keep pouring from his eyes with his right palm. A fresh tattoo of a little werewolf boy pissing on six bikes was healing in the inside of his right arm along with the words “Dad’s Little Pisser.”
With a heavy heart, and a sore arm, Tim walked toward his motorcycle, and had to stop when he saw a malamute puppy – with a striking resemblance to a wolf – taking a piss on his tire.
Tim laughed, “Happy Father’s Day Dad.”. His laugh was a loud, deep, belly laugh that surprised even him.
The puppy finished peeing, turned to look at Tim, and ran toward him. Tim scooped the puppy up and looked around expecting a worried owner to come running over to retrieve the scent-marking whelp. A few minutes later, as the puppy rested in Tim’s arms, it was clear to him that he’d been “wolved” by the best. “Alright Little Pisser, let’s go home.”
He cradled the malamute in his arms, placed him in his motorcycle’s roll tail bag, pulled on his helmet and started his engine. The puppy woke up, stuck his head out of the bag, and Tim was positive the malamute smiled. Somewhat certain that the bag would be a safe carrier for his new companion, Tim eased his bike into traffic.
There was something about this park, on Father’s Day, Tim thought as he rode away from yesterday.