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“Ah, dammit,” he mumbled to himself. He then louder said, “Well, buddy, we’re definitely not getting all of our deposit back.”
“What’s a deposit?” said Grant, holding a small paint roller but still staring at the Paw Patrol episode on the television.
“Well, Grant, a deposit is when you give your landlord your hard-earned money, with the understanding that if you take care of the house you’re living in, you get it back. Considering I just dripped paint all over the carpet, we are probably getting less back. You know, because of that and the fact that you and I have dropped food and drinks all over the carpet the entire time we’ve lived here. Does that make sense?”
Grant didn’t answer, but just stared at the Paw Patrol episode which seemed to be reaching its climax. It was apparent he had turned off his listening ears the second he asked about the deposit.
Briefly lamenting the three pointless sentences he just uttered and the time he’d never get back in his life, he went back to applying the Smokey Taupe paint color onto his bedroom wall. The color itself appealed to him (he’d heard it referenced on Queer Eye), and he’d told anyone who would listen in a casual manner that he was “really looking forward to getting the Smokey Taupe on the walls.” Unfortunately, he was embarrassed when a co-worker informed him it was pronounced like “tope” and not “top-eh” as he’d been saying it.
Still, he went forwarded with eliminating the turquoise color that he’d inherited on his bedroom walls when he rented the house. Painting his room a more neutral color made him feel a bit more like a grown up, something which he had a deep insecurity about. Grant had forced him to grow up a bit, but from time to time he still felt like a child in a grown man’s life position.
When they’d picked up the paint cans and rollers from Home Depot, Grant had shown immense enthusiasm in helping. He’d watched him tape, tarp, and prepare the room like a lion stalking a gazelle. His constant outbursts of “When can we paint? Can we paint yet? Is it time to paint?!?!” had been driving his father wild.
Kid, I’ve seen you use watercolors and draw with markers — you’re not exactly Dali.
Seeing as he’d already done a shit job putting the plastic tarp down, hence the paint on the carpet, he decided it was time to snap Grant’s attention away from the TV.
“Alright, come over here, you can help me.”
Grant took two sprint strides over, yelling “REALLY?!?” before stepping right in the paint tray on the ground and coating his foot in paint.
Fifteen minutes after they’d managed to remove all the paint from Grant’s foot, they began painting together. He dipped Grant’s small roller in very slightly giving him minimal amounts of paint to perhaps find a way to destroy the room with.
Grant’s initial paint application technique was a little rough. Smacking the roller against the wall didn’t prove to be very conducive to an even coat.
“Grant, chill. Roll it. It’s a roller, not a hammer.”
“But I want it to be a hammer.”
“If you want to hammer with the roller then that’s fine, but do it with that one over there that doesn’t have paint on it, and do it on the carpet. Would you rather hammer or paint?”
Grant lowered his roller and thought about it. “I’ll paint,” he decided before he turned and started rolling over the same spot at least a hundred times.
“You’re doing great, pal. Really get that spot for me, that’s an important spot to paint. Please only paint that spot, I’m going to go do some of the trim on the back wall.”
Grant looked up at his father, still moving the roller up and down, and beamed with pride over what he assumed was a fantastic paint job. His father climbed a small step-stool & began working on the edge near the ceiling.
This is how it’s supposed to be, the whole fatherhood thing. Just father and son, doing manly bonding shit like painting a room on a nice sunny day. Sometimes being a dad is just… wait, why’d I stop hearing the sound of the roller against the wall?
He whipped his head around so fast that he nearly flew off the stool. Grant had turned around and was painting the side of his father’s white bedsheet.
He was incredulous. “GRANT! What’re you doing there, son? Why? Why are you doing that?!?” Grant looked shocked as he turned to face his father, like he wasn’t sure exactly what he was doing.
“I was just painting things that are white Dad, I thought it’d look really nice.”
He stared back at his son, in borderline disbelief. “Grant, we’re painting the walls, you don’t paint the bed. No one can sleep on painted bedsheets, and that’s not going to look good if someone sees the bed, buddy.”
“But dad, no one except me ever sees your bed.”
Even my kid knows deep down that I never get laid.
“Grant, that’s not the point. Go put the roller down and come over here, we’ve gotta try to wash this bedsheet.”
Grant started to sob, and put his head down.
“Grant, no reason to cry, it’s alright, nothing is ruined too bad. Just don’t do it again.”
He continued to walk with his head down (sniffling for pity) until his foot stepped on the side of the paint tray, flipping it and splashing paint on another uncovered area of carpet.
Grant looked up at his father who actually smiled and shrugged.
Fuck it, we weren’t getting the deposit back anyway. .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast,” live on Grandex Labs.