Me versus the Mickman
The Mickman is my occasional nickname for my great-uncle Mickey, who is decidedly not a great uncle. Not to sound ungrateful for I owe him a lot; he raised my mom after her dad (his brother) died when she was a toddler. Besides that, since he moved into my room after I went to college, he has been overly generous around present-giving times—on birthdays, Christmas, my graduation and sometimes apropos of nothing he has lavished my greasy fists with cash. I don’t mind cash as a gift, and I know some people think gift cards are slightly more thoughtful because they reveal at least vague knowledge of what the recipient likes. But gift cards don’t buy weed; gift cards are looked down upon at the poker table. I prefer the blunt honesty of cash: I don’t know you very well but I have to give you something so here. He has other things to do, after all, and since those things generally involved him being out of the house most of the day, I was fine with it. Basically, our relationship is at its best when it’s physically and emotionally distant.
So Uncle Mick should be the last thing on my mind in the shower. Alas.
I was ready to move on to the final phase of every third shower, the shave. I lathered up my face and took my razor of its perch on the mirror that claims to be no-fog. You already know what I saw: white hair. Hundreds of white hairs, clogged in between the five blades that were supposed to be all for me. My mind immediately jumped back to late senior year (he slept in the living room or something then), when I pulled my deodorant out of the medicine cabinet, opened it, and found two long, pubey, white hairs stuck to the gel. That fucker! THAT’S FUCKING DISGUSTING AND INTIMATE! This was my reaction both times. And sure enough, when I saw him later today, he was sporting a new look: instead of a wraparound goatee, he had only a mustache and a tiny soul patch under his lip.
I would confront the old man but my mom wouldn’t like that, which is a shame. It would have gone something like this:
[INT. A small bedroom. An old man sits at a desk, coloring a sketch he drew earlier at a large desk made of fine wood that was intended to be used by someone else. He listens to Spanish-language music on a small radio positioned at the end of the desk. Sunset is nigh, and rays of light warm the room through the west-facing window. The window faces a large baseball diamond with unkempt grass—property of the next-door public school. It is expansive enough for two sets of girls to practice softball and soccer without bothering each other, and their shouts intermingle with the soft guitar of Silvio Rodriguez’s “Ojala”. The old man works slowly and carefully and thinks to himself, I am having a perfect moment.]
MARCIANO [Bang, bang, banging on the door]: Uncle Mick!
MICK [Surprised]: Oh…uh, one second please.
[The door is kicked off its hinges and falls to the floor with a great thud. Marciano stands erect in the hallway, his eyes bloodshot and his teeth bared. He growls as he walks in, but he is careful enough to step over some small pieces of debris. The old man stares at him, mouth agape, and the young man returns an unwavering glare. Then he pulls the used razor out of his pocket.]
MARCIANO: What. The. Fuck. Old. Man. You watch your back. Or maybe I mean YOUR FACE!
[He throws the razor point-blank into the old man’s face, which hurts a little. With that as a sufficient distraction, he hastily doodles a penis and testicles on the old man’s sketch in permanent marker. The old man looks up at his now-satisfied assailant, looks down at his sketch, and laughs. The young man can’t help but laugh, too. They lived happily ever after until the young man’s mom kicked him out a few hours later for breaking the door again.]