A GUM-SMACKING, PUSSY-GRABBING KNUCKLE-BUMPER
BAKERSFIELD, CA – Behind the big safe bars of the Canaan Estates security gates lives a protodemon with all the psychological traits of a young Charles Manson or Rachel Dolezal or other people that make you question whether the current trajectory of evolution is up. I first laid eyes on the child moments after his mother opened her front door and started to greet me. He yelled, “Duck!” His mother did as she was told. And this little shit chucked a fidget spinner at my face like some kind of redneck ninja star.
I got hit with such a force my whole fifth grade year was deleted from my memory. “You’re it, faggot!” He yelled as he ran off into a house, filled knee deep with broken toys, burnt dolls and homemade nazi memorabilia. “I don’t know where he learns about this stuff,” Lucifer’s mother, Darlene, tells me. “Boys will be boys,” she says. They always say that. As if every boy enjoys smashing lizards with a hammer. Which is what the child is doing right now, out back. Jesus Christ.
Lucifer goes by the name Tristan. That’s a name that doesn’t age well. Which is nice because I can’t see this little monster making it out of high school without some fat kid murdering him for his relentless abuses. Tristan is nine years old and doesn’t know the meaning of boundaries. He doesn’t know the meaning of a lot of words because Tristan doesn’t do homework. “We tried to get him to do his homework,” Charlene says, “but he spit on me.”
And that’s where the story ended.
Darlene believes children are given too many rules and too much supervision. She told me “The Native Americans didn’t believe in disciplining children or giving them boundaries,” she said, wrongly encapsulating hundreds of different cultures (with varying parenting approaches, no doubt) under one, single, lazy misnomer. “We just think it’s more natural to let him discover who he really is on his own. Like the Indians or whatever,” she says. “We’re drawing the line at buying him a bow and arrow though.”
As Tristan jumps out of his mom’s car. A car he has bumped into NEUTRAL to let roll down the driveway, his mom asks him, “Do you want a jacket sweetie?” To which he responds with a middle finger as the car backs away from the house and rolls to a slow stop in the middle of the cul-de-sac turnabout. “That’s not my favorite thing he does,” she says, referring to her 9 year old son ghost-driving her Acura MDX into the middle of the road. “Boys will be boys.”