the shameless man and his printer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


The interaction K had with his father this morning as usual left a bitter taste in his mouth. Everything they did together had to be on his own terms, even the time he woke up and the tea he would drink. He was even expected to show appreciation for these gestures, none of which he asked for. 

He would make out like he intended to do something kind, but of course, the intention always preceded the action itself, which would scarcely come to fruition, only if specific conditions were met and, when it came down to brass tacks, if his father actually felt like it (as if the proposal of the action were unrelated to the decision to perform the action itself). Only if his father got his own way down to the grain, and even then his commitment was dubious. 

For example he had offered to let K use his printer the previous night, and surely flattered himself by doing so, as if telling himself he were magnanimous, for the next morning he was in a much duller mood. When asked to present the printer, he merely hesitated and averted K's eyes, effectively keeping K on the rack. This irritated K, as it suggested to him that his father's offer was never sincere, and he blamed himself for being fooled yet again. This was a characteristic of his father's that frequently irritated him yet would not ever be acknowledged (much less with grace) by his father. 

Sitting there morosely, reading his book as if doing so made him grand, he said to K, in a stern, authoritative tone, that it was his turn to play the pacman style-snake game K had started to play and that if K (who had already expressed his intention to leave to go study soon after) did not relinquish his turn, he would not provide him with the printer. K saw through his father's petulant ruse and treated him as he would a tantruming toddler. 

It seemed his father only wanted a turn because he was playing. A dog without a bone. He kept playing and silently let the man count down to 3; the severity never left his tone, as if demanding K to obey. "Fine," his father muttered bitterly, after reaching '3', "then you're going to have to wait another 4 or 5 days for the library to open (it was new year's morning)". He announced this vindictively as if he derived great satisfaction from having declared his punishment. Clearly in his eyes this was an apt punishment for K's defiance. 

This irritated K because he suspected father never actually intended to retrieve the printer, as there was no apparent advantage in it for him, and not only that but it would have been slightly inconvenient (a factor whose importance should not be underestimated), but had only pretended, in an cheap, ingratiating way. He would have preferred it if his father had made no mention of the printer at all, so as not to dangle a carrot before his eyes. He suspected his father actually believed he would retrieve the printer, up until the point his authority was defied. 

He seemed to have cleverly (perhaps even unconsciously) orchestrated the event so that, when defied, he could plausibly claim offence and in doing so provoke in himself an emotional reaction (regardless of the consequences), just so he could furtively relieve himself of the responsibility he pinned upon himself! Ludicrous, if true, and K's annoyance to bear. He was asked, sarcastically, "was it worth it?" as if in defying his father's orders he had lost a privilege. But rather, it seemed, his defiance had only precipitated the shameless display that was his father's gracelessness and dishonesty, which although it was by now, to K, a familiar spectacle, had remained as irritating as ever.


Submitted: March 08, 2021

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