Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mask On, Mask Off

Today's story is dedicated to my dad, Patrick John Mulligan.  As per the terms of my writing contract with my family, I use fictional characters in my stories unless family members are deceased.  Dad has been dead for fourteen years so he is fair game.  If you don't like my material, blame him.  You can find him at Ft. Rosecrans in Southern California.  I inherited my writing gene from dad, although there also appears to be a recessive writing gene on my mother's side of the family.  Please don't try to blame my mother for my writing.  She's alive and well which means she's off limits.  Besides, today is not Mother's Day.    Okay, enough stalling.  Here's my story.  It's already past deadline.  I can hear dad honking the horn at the bar upstairs telling me to get moving...

My quasi friends, Huey, Louie and Dewey, took me to an undisclosed location in an unnamed city to meet one of their friends, Lady Godiva.  She dressed up for the introduction but seemed rather uncomfortable.  I did my best to keep my eyes focused but she was on a mission.  I told her, "I have boundaries."  She turned to Huey and asked, "Do you also have boundaries?" The mission to get me to the dark side failed.  Good thing dad always taught me to look people in the eyes when speaking to them. 

I shared the story about Huey, Louie and Dewey with dad before he passed away and asked him to forgive me for almost ruining our good name.  "Don't worry, son," he said.  "I'm the black sheep of the family and I've done some things I'm not proud of either."  Dad went out of his way to right all the wrongs before he left us.  It wasn't easy for him to take the mask off.  He even apologized for the tears, something he restrained with military style for nearly four quarters of his life.  The two minute warning must have distracted him from keeping the mask on until the final curtain call.  Mask on or mask off, dad had a big heart, especially for his siblings, his wives, his children and his grandchildren.  The best gift he gave me was his writing gene.  I promise to keep using it until it's time to be reunited with him.  Happy Father's Day to all the dads and to my Father in Heaven.  Have a great day.  And make sure to always look people in the eyes, especially Lady Godiva.  Mask or no mask, stay within your boundaries.

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