My Father and I Agree

Hannah Jones

 

  • On Mexican food 

  • On Ocean’s 11 and the West Wing 

  • On government  

    • We hate rhetoric short enough to fit on a sign

      • It doesn’t tell the full story  

        • We admit everything is complicated 

    • We do not respect the law

      • We both go twelve over on Purdue St

      • We both go a little over on every street no matter what 

      • Most people do that

    • We both have an instinct to steal

      • He doesn’t call his stealing, he calls it cunning

    • We both don’t trust authority

      • I get that from him 

      • In both senses

    • We suspect 

      • I am unsure whether he commits tax fraud because I do not know tax law well enough

      • He is unsure whether I drink in college because he does not know me well enough

      • I think he smoked a lot of weed before he met my mother just because all of his brothers did and he never said why he wouldn’t

      • I think his habit of stretching the realm of “only tipsy” might coincide with a habit of driving home drunk

      • I don’t think he deserved to be sued for copyright infringement

      • I don’t have much evidence for any of it 

        • Just all of this thinking 

    • We don’t ask 

  • On federal culpability in the 2007 housing crisis

  • On Apple vs PC

  • On lifestyle 

    • We ran 

      • He runs 

        • I don’t run anymore because of my knee

    • Our knees are both fucked up 

      • His from jumping out of planes

        • He doesn’t see his injury as a reason to stop running. 

        • I see a rainy day as a reason to stop running 

  • We are early risers 

    • He wakes early 

      • Eats breakfast at the same restaurant, same order, 7am. 

      • He organizes his trash cans. 

      • He has an alphabetized collection of over 700 DVDs. 

      • He has his car washed exactly once a week. He buys the washes in bulk, gets a discount. 

      • He would have written a more well-organized outline. 

      • But he wouldn’t have known what to fill it with. 

    • I stumble into work at 5am 

      • And don’t enjoy it. 

        • But I know he would admire me for it. 

        • Sometimes my room gets so messy I can’t clean it. 

          • He would not understand this phenomenon. 

  • On megachurches 

  • On pain 

    • Having a high pain tolerance is important 

      • I admire all his broken ribs from racing mountains bikes. 

        • He never goes to the doctor. 

    • He used to poke me in the ribs when he was teasing. 

      • It hurt quite a bit. 

    • I have a very low pain tolerance. 

      • Sometimes when I stub my toe very hard I bang my head into the wall until it stops hurting 

        • The toe, that is

        • I think he would be proud. 

  • On Five Guys seasoned fries 

  • On pleasure 

    • How it comes from the sun 

    • How it is found near pools and oceans

      • We both burn easily

        • He does not agree, thinks lobster red fading to sun spots is a tan. 

        • We both burn frequently nonetheless. 

    • How it comes from music 

      • The highest calling 

      • He played it, and I love to listen. 

      • He doesn’t play anymore. 

        • (that I know of) 

      • I still love to listen. 

    • How it does not always come from knowledge

      • For us it comes from uncertainty. 

        • The period between seeing something and knowing what it is. 

      • We would both rather get the other one’s voicemail 

        • We would both rather suppose intentions

        • We would both rather stop before the complications

          • The further in we go the less we agree

            • The more irreconcilable everything gets 

  • On goddamn peace and quiet 

  • On academia 

  • On cities 

  • On being scrappy, thrifty, independent. 

    • On feeling like we never got much help 

      • We both baby our parents 

      • We both don’t necessarily “get along” with our fathers 

        • We both have fathers less crazy than their fathers 

        • So we are getting somewhere 

          • Albeit slowly 

 

 

1. Assuming nothing has changed since the last time we spoke in person approximately 1 year and 9 months ago. 

 About the Writer
Split Lip Magazine

Hannah Elizabeth Jones is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been previously published in Cellar Door, Campus Blueprint, Sketchbook, and apt. She was a finalist in the 2016 Livershot Memoir competition.