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A Lifetime of Yesterdays 5/14/24 - Not Safe For Work



Where we live, some remnants from yesteryear existed before Al Gore invented the internet. It takes the form of one of those dirty white buildings with a neon sign and a bulb or two out or flickering. Just might be one of the nondescript porn purveyors placed on the side of a used highway in Central Jersey. There always seems to be one car parked outside these places. Dingy on top of dirty, the car models the inside of the store. Creepy. Like something the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde would use to rob the check-cashing store a little further up the road. Where do you go to cash the checks stolen from the check cashing store? Not an actual bank; they're too busy processing Epstein's checks and balances, so you go out of state to another check-cashing place. Somehow, crossing state lines does the trick. Leaving Jersey is always more profitable.


Every guy in a specific age range has a box. One well hidden in an internal room outside the house in the garage. In it is his collection of porn—the mags he bought from the place near the check cashing store. It's likely to be dear old Dad's cache. He commuted into the city daily, clad in his grey suit and blue and red striped tie that hung too short on his belly. He had amassed quite a library.



The trove was collected long before the internet showed up and made our world the perverted part of the universe. He would never hold these gems of porn in his leather briefcase. The one with his initials so perfectly engraved into the top so everyone could see the gold letters that abbreviated his name. I assumed he needed to get some material after Mom shut down south of the border. A short stop at the porn store to pick up some material for himself should do the trick. I imagined he would take the tie off before entering to browse the isles. And here they were, neatly managed and tucked into a used Piasano wine box. Arranged by year and month and separated by a trimmed cardboard box top to fit between different named rags. There were issues of Slit, Gash, and Vage. It seemed the singular focus supported the theory Mom was done with Dad in the bedroom. 


The complete year's issues were stacked at the bottom of the wine box, while the top of the heap had random mags and pics torn from other mags. It was as though they were protecting the gemstones below them. It seemed Dad had his version of the Dewey decimal system and card catalog to find what he was looking for. Unfortunately, it was my wife who saw them in horror one day. Screaming, "I found it," as we cleaned out the garage after his passing. I rushed to her side, and her beat red face expressed the look of horror until she blurted out the words, "You look at this shit?" I would back up and trip over a used can of grease remover hand cream the old man used after working on engines, pistons, and other things I knew nothing about. He had told me in high school that I was an idiot and couldn't even turn a screwdriver. My sister said I should read more to improve my grades. I thought about reading and its relationship to the issue at hand, which I had to have an answer for. So I said, "Of course not," and she screamed, "Slit?" out loud. The neighbor's dog barked. It's a particular skill many women have to shriek anything as a question in one word she knows the answer to. My best advice here is to deny, deny, deny. 


I remembered the show Modern Family where Phil tells Claire she was all the porn he needed when she confronted him about watching it. Thankfully, I nixed that idea, didn't say anything like that, and decided to be quiet. Why did I need to defend myself from my Dad's porn hobby out in the garage at his house after he was gone? I was in a delicate place. One that could land me in a pile of shit there was no way out of. He had arrived and gone for me a long time ago. Here I was on the front burner for someone else one more time.


Later that day, my wife and I drove in two directions. I was meeting an old friend for lunch, and she was returning to our home. "Gash!" she belted, speeding away from my parent's garage. The dog barked again, but not before she said, "I'm going to check your browser history when I get home." Somehow I had become the instigator of my Dad's porn stash. No way, not possible, nor impossible either. I figured my Mom and Dad had found their way around the bedroom long before I arrived. Perhaps the stash answered some questions for my wife, who likely fielded many from my mom on why Dad spent so much time in the garage. I wasn't going to play that game. Like most men, we field anger from our wives even if we've done nothing wrong, like shrapnel from an errant incendiary device that went off because of a lightning strike a mile away. 



Peace, Chris







* Overtime note: I may or may not use this partly for my memoir. It is partially true in our case. My Dad never worked in NYC or took the train. He was a blue-collar guy in HVAC. But I did know a guy who fits the briefcase description. 

 

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About Chris

Christian J. Farber

After a thriving corporate career, Chris now enjoys retirement at the Jersey Shore. As a prostate cancer survivor, he's committed to educating men about the disease and covers various topics like Alcoholism, Multiple Sclerosis, and Career Success in his featured writing on platforms such as The Good Men Project, Huffington Post, and Thrive Global.

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