Calf Slobber


Cono Dennis

My father is a worthless, sorry son of a bitch, no better than calves’ slobber. I’ve tried to find reasons to believe otherwise, I really have.

How can a piece of apple pie be so good and so bad at the same time? Maybe it’s like Ike’s jalapeno, the price for eating one is steep. But at least Ike got a little satisfaction from those hot bites, the taste being worth it.

I think about Hicks Boy, how I never could beat him, and I wonder if it will ever be me who is standing up at the end of a round with my right hand held up by a referee. “And the new boxing Champion is Cono Dennis.” The crowd cheers.

I want to look down at the calves’ slobber lying bloodied on the boxing ring canvas. I want to spit down on my father and say, “There ain’t nothin’ worse than bein’ woken up in the middle’a the night to the feelin’ ’a yer balls bein’ squeezed, and hearin’ the sound of a pocket knife bein’ opened up at the same time.”

I want to walk away from the ring, the crowd still cheering.

Excerpt from No Hill for a Stepper, my father’s story