When I was young, I loved The Beaver. Family held by neat smiles. June kissed sons, brisk tenderness. Ward spouted genial wisdom. Beaver’s foibles were corrected with laughter.
No one could be hard on the Beaver.
I came from fusillades across constrained rooms. Bad mother. Lecherous asshole. I picked up ruined dreams and dreamed of dissonant chords I’d never play after the piano went out the window.
Cocktail glasses littered intimacy.
I got older. Dissected the Cleavers. Ward yelled often. He apologized but held brooding energy. I envisioned Ward a drunk, June a pill-popper. Possibly a drunk too. Her smile was too perfect.
Everyone was hard on Beaver.
I still want smiles. But only hear rehearsed lines.
At least they’re neat.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.