My Best Friend Bert - #9

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
What do you really know about your family? Would it fill a poem, or a novel, or just be a blank page? Bert seems to wonder.

Submitted: October 27, 2018

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Submitted: October 27, 2018

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There was a time when Bert and I had no deep conversations; everything was superficial and about things going on in the neighborhood.

But lately Bert has been revealing some of his inner thoughts and I found one very insightful; let me explain what happened.

 

One Saturday Bert and I went over to Betty’s Burgers and Beer for mid-day refreshments. After some chit-chat Bert suddenly stated, “You know my Mom just died, right?”

He didn’t wait for an answer; he continued by saying, “After the funeral I got to thinking and it dawned on me that of all the things that I have of Mom’s stuff, not one of them helps me to understand her view of the world. That also goes for my Dad, my Grandfather, and Grandmother too. In fact, I've tossed many opportunities out the window to really get to know them.”

As Bert took a long sip from an overly foaming beer glass I realized that I didn't fully understanding what he was driving at, so I encouraged him to explain.

He continued by saying, “Do you know that I don’t know what my Dad’s favorite color was, or my mom’s for that matter?

Not one of my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, not one of them do I know who they admired the most. I’m not talking about who they loved, that was obvious, I’m saying that I don’t know anything about them, their childhood, how they did in school; except for math, they all hated math.”

Bert took another drink so I asked, “I don’t think anyone knows that stuff, do they? I mean, those aren’t the sort of things people talk about.”

“Exactly, that’s what’s wrong!”  Bert shouted, which caused several people to stop what they were doing and to look at Bert like he was nuts.

Then Bert quietly stated, “We are so full of ourselves that no-one around us really seems to matter.

Think of all the great Novels that have been written, many were about families and what they went through.

The people writing those novels took time to find out how other people thought took the time to see other viewpoints. They looked into their hardships, their upbringings that formed their way of behavior. But not me, no, I don’t even know what my parents favorite colors are!”

After a mouth full of French Fries and a swig of beer I asked Bert, “So what could you have done differently?”

Bert thought for a while and replied, “Maybe I could have asked better questions before it was too late.”

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

10-27-2018


© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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