Disclaimer: Never happened.
The Bigger Sad
Welcome to the
Welcome to existence
Everybody's watching you now
for you now
What happens next? (Switchfoot)
"Daddy?" Jacob asked, grabbed
his father's heavily tattooed arm as he moved to grab a cigarette.
Billie Joe asked, smiling at the eight year old. He left the pack of cigarettes in his pocket and
pulled the boy, short for his age, into his lap.
"Are you okay today?" Jacob
asked, his face full of all the concern an eight year old could feel, and a special sort of concern
for his daddy.
"Of course I am, sport." Billie said, ruffling his son's
"I heard Momma telling Mike that sometimes you . . ." The boy sort of froze,
afraid he might get in trouble for listening to what the grown ups were saying. He knew he wasn't
"Sometimes I get sad?" Billie Joe finished. Jacob nodded. Billie Joe
had to smile. "I do get sad sometimes, Jacob." Billie Joe said. "You know how you get
sad sometimes?" Jacob nodded again, proud that he was the same as his dad. "Well, grown
ups get sad, too. Only when I'm sad it's a bigger sad. That's why I have to go see the
"Do I have to see a doctor when I get bigger too? Is that why you're sad's
bigger? Because you're bigger?"
And at that moment Billie Joe thanked whatever power
that was listening for giving him kids. "Not everyone gets sad like I do, Jacob." He
kissed his son's forehead. "Something scary happened to me awhile ago and that makes me sad
"You okay today?" Adrienne asked as she came out of the
bedroom in a robe, her hair twisted up in a towel.
Billie Joe fought with himself for a
moment, trying not to glare. Jacob was one thing, but Addie was another. "Yeah, babe, I'm
"I saw you talking to Jacob."
"He heard you and Mike
talking about my depression." Billie said. "I tried to explain it to him. Fuck, they're so
"I know." Adrienne sat down on the side of the bed and
started putting lotion on her legs. "Joe asked me some questions last night when you were
getting the take out. I just told him it was grown up problems and he made a face." She stuck
her tongue out in a poor imitation of the face their oldest son had made.
Billie Joe smiled
and grabbed her hand as it set the lotion bottle down. "I'm sorry about all of this,
She looked at him. "You don't have any reason to apologize, Billie Joe.
"It's been hell, hasn't it? These last few months."
leaned over and gently, gently kissed his cheek. "I took you for better and for worse, Billie.
I meant every word."
"I don't know him. I never did. I don't recall his
face every coming into my view before that night. He never said he knew me, never said why he was
doing this. Of course he knew my name, everyone knows my fucking name,
"How's life at home?"
"Better. I can kiss Addie now. I can
take the boys out in public without having an attack if I see some guy with brown hair about six
"Have you and Adrienne had sexual relations yet?"
with his shoe. "No. And I don't think we'll be able to for awhile. It doesn't matter that she's
a woman and that guy was a man, it's just the whole concept of sex."
"Do you think
you can get better?"
Billie laughed. "I better fucking be able
"Daddy!" Jacob yelled, running up to the porch and tugging on
his dad's hand. "Daddy, look at the firebugs."
"Fire flies." Adrienne
said at the same time Billie said, "Lightning bugs."
They both laughed at the look
of confusion on Jacob's face, before Billie followed his son into the front yard.
outside then, deciding it was okay to hang out with his family for awhile. "Mom?" he
asked, watching Billie laughing and chasing lightning bugs with Jacob. "He's okay now,
Adrienne smiled and pulled Joe into a hug. "He's okay, Joe. He's going to be
"Joey!" Jacob yelled. "Joey, we're catching
"Lightning bugs." Joe corrected walking down the steps.
"Told you." Bille told Adrienne triumphantly.
She smiled and followed their
oldest son down the steps, slowly kissing Billie on the lips.
And for a moment, they were
just another family.