Mister Fix-It by Linda Simoni-Wastila

She found him in the pantry, fly unzipped, tilting over the recycle bin.

“Oh Dad,” she said and led him to the bathroom. She hosed down the urine-soaked container, then returned to the bathroom with a clean pair of boxers. He sobbed into a terry towel. She rubbed small circles between his shoulder blades. Skinny like bird’s wings, she thought.

“For Cripe’s sake, I built this house,” he said. “You’d think I’d know where I put the goddamn can.”

She waited behind the closed door while he changed. He’d installed the second bathroom twelve years ago, during his one week of vacation. Lined up like ghosts on the front lawn, the second-hand porcelain fixtures had embarrassed her. Her father whistled the whole week, annoying Gershwin tunes between his teeth, happier than a hog in poop because he was banging away on a ‘project’. She could barely hem her surgical scrubs.

A string of obscenities punctuated the burbling water. She opened the door. The face cloth dripped in shaking hand, spattering his tee shirt.

“What the hell is wrong with me?”

“It’s the Parkinson’s,” she said. “The neurotransmitters aren’t quite connecting in your brain.”

“Harrumph.” He tilted his head at her, then shuffled down the hall. “My brain’s just fine.”

At dinner time, she found him in the basement. Back to the door, he didn’t notice her as he plowed through the toolbox.

“Loose screws, my ass,” he muttered. “Now where’s the goddamn philips?”


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Filed under Linda Simoni-Wastila

15 responses to “Mister Fix-It by Linda Simoni-Wastila

  1. Cuts to the heart, Linda.

  2. Poor guy, but I like that he’s still got guts. Nicely written.

  3. Randal Houle

    Love this. Nicely written, sympathy for the characters is high. Great use of the theme.

  4. Hey all, thanks for reading. I appreciate your comments! Peace…

  5. Catherine Davis

    Lovely and sad, and with dignity, despite. (I’m thinking: this cannot be only 250 words!) Compassion for the characters, as Randal says – especially, I think, because the daughter is so compassionate towards the father. And I love the image of the fixtures lined up like ghosts on the lawn, 12 years ago.

  6. Moving and compassionate. Well done.

  7. there is a knowing tenderness here and an ache that makes me want to melt for him

  8. Tom O'Connell

    Very touching- you made me care about father and daughter in under 250 words. I would like to spend more time with them…

  9. oh, linda, this is absolutely wonderful with just the right amount of heart as i’ve come to expect from you. love it.

  10. I echo the others: the right amount of heart and spirit in this one. So well written! Thanks.

  11. Kim Hutchinson

    Just read (and loved) this on FN. Beautiful story.

  12. guy

    The “Oh Dad” line is just right.

  13. Missy

    Great dialogue.

    This story says so much and has so much feeling in so little words.

    Well written.

  14. Been here. So wonderfully drawn, sad and true and real. Made me miss my Dad.

  15. Pingback: Week #35 – Loose connections | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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