Where The Hell Is Jeff?
“Jeff! Where the hell are you? This is like my tenth message and it’s like six o’clock! Dude, Dory has been out looking for you everywhere and Tone is asking questions. I don’t know what the hell else I can tell him! Call me… I FUCKING MEAN IT”! Man, this is bad… real bad and I know that little man knows it too. I was about ready to start calling hospitals when Dory walked in. It was about ten o’clock and I had put Tony to bed in our spare room. “Did you find him”? I asked hopefully. Dory just looked at me and ever so gently shook her head from side to side. “I’m gonna call the hospitals then”, I said. “Don’t even bother, I did it already” she said with concern and anger some how. Well, now what? Tomorrow is Monday, we both have to work and I don’t even know where little man goes to school. I just needed to think. What was I gonna do? I don’t know anything about this kid’s family on his Mother’s side and little to nothing about Jeff’s family except that, well they hate Jeff and haven’t had a thing to do with Tony; well not much anyway. They were disowned. I guess and nice lounge on the balcony with a beer would calm me and bring some ideas to mind.
The Morning After
The alarm went off at an ungodly hour or so it seemed. Reality was it was just 8:00 a.m. and my head was pounding! I guess I shoulda skipped that eighth beer last night. As I rolled out of bed, I heard Tony and the faint sound of cartoons coming from the living room. I poked my head out and and in all my wisdom said, “hey”. He looked up at me, with a spoon in his hand and said, “I missed school. Is it okay if I made me some cereal? I can make you some too if you want”? “Nah” I said… “Thanks though buddy”. Wow, what a sweet kid.
Now the rapid fire questions I couldn’t answer began and of course Dory couldn’t help because she was getting ready for work. So, I was left to field them because I had already used my “I was left with an abandoned child and drank to much last night” sick day. Finally, I just told Tony the truth. I know that I would want to know. So, I just told him that his Dad was fine, but I couldn’t get hime on the phone. I asked Tony if he knew any of his family’s phone numbers or addresses and this poor kid looked at me like I had three dragon heads. Okay, okay it’s gonna be okay, right? Then Tony, from across the room said, “Sonny”? “Yeah Buddy”? “He’s probably drunk somewhere. He leaves for two or three days and then comes home so I just walk to the CABS [the city’s bus system] and go on to school and stuff.” Oh Lord, I thought. “What do you do for food and things?”, I asked. Tony kinda chuckled, smiled and said “No one will ever starve on cereal, Ramen noodles and cheeses sanwiches. That’s what Dad says and he always buys a lot of that stuff right before he goes away. So, I knew he was going away, but ne never left me with nobody before.” All I could say was “Oh”.
Well… At least now I know everything will be okay. This is normal behavior for Jeff. This time, at least, he was a tad more responsible and left Tony with responisble adults; if you could call Dory and I that. I asked Tony about where he went to school and where he caught the bus so I could at least get him to and from school. I called work and filled them in on the situation and adjusted my schedule and took some weekend hours to allow me to drive the thirty minutes each way to Tony’s bus stop twice a day. I filled Dory in when she called me from work… That was a fun conversation, but she was relieved overall. The very last thing I did and the one thing I dreaded most of all… I called Mom.