Friday, November 5, 2010

The fire was mostly embers, and the ash from the picnic plates was like a snow flurry, the warm wind whipping it about, and making the trees do ocean sound impressions.

"Dad?"Bello asked (who else?) "What's the point?"

"Of what?"

"Dating. Girls. Life." He poked at the embers, meticulously cleaning the marsh mellow residue of the poker end. "I dunno. Whatever."

"Me either, but. I dated, I'd say, over one hundred people before your mother and I got married."

"Didn't date?"

"Not really."

"Just married."

"We were friends first. Then one day -"

"Night," Bello corrected.

"One night, sure." His father laughed, "One night, we clicked."

"Fucked."

"Watch your mouth!" But he laughed.

"And that was it?"

"And that was it."

"But first, you dated, like, a million other girls?"

"People."

"Gross."

"Whatever."

"That's what uncle Tony calls your man-whore period."

"I'm going to have to tell Tony to watch his mouth around my son now, am I?"

"Dad!"

"You know? He told me he was going to enjoy telling you about that."

"It is pretty funny, some of the stories he tells."

"Don't repeat them to your mother." They locked eyes in the near darkness. "I'm serious." And he was. Bello's dad finished with, "She doesn't like to talk about the past." And they were quiet for a long while after that.