Oh, hey, bud. I’m sorry the noise woke you. Don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong. All you heard was the racket of lovers. This is what married people do. Go back to sleep.

Really, don’t mind any of the sounds you hear coming from down here. I’ll quiet down eventually. I just need to let your mother know that I love her but don’t agree with what she said earlier, and banging these pots around is the only way for me to do that. The pots say what I can’t. You’ll understand the appeal when you’re older. It’s like how Fleetwood Mac sounds like music made for playing in station wagons until one day you hear “That’s All for Everyone” and you think: “Oh yeah, that is all.”

It might seem tense down here, but you’re just not used to being downstairs when the TV is off. Or maybe it’s because I keep running the garbage disposal for no reason. I don’t know. Flicking the switch up and down is satisfying. It makes me feel like I’m in control of something, like blowing out a match before it burns your fingers.

Sure, it might have sounded like we were arguing earlier, but we were just running lines from Training Day. You would know that if you’d seen the movie.

The dog is in the corner because he likes it over there. Or, he might have gotten scared when I dropped my O’Douls earlier. Either way, Puddle is perfectly happy in his calm corner. He’ll be back to making eye contact in no time.

Ha, it does sort of smell like cigarettes down here. That’s funny you should say that. You’re probably just smelling some toast I burnt earlier. Sometimes I’ll leave it in there to see how burnt it can get. It’s like when you’re arguing with someone, and you think, “What’s the worst thing I could possibly say?” And then you say it to see what going that far feels like, because it’s the only thrill you can get now that the sex is gone.

When we were younger, your mother would wrap her legs around me at night and kiss me in the morning. Now she looks at me like I’m cream cheese on her favorite sweater. I probably shouldn’t have told you any of that, but from the look on your face, I can tell you’re going to sleep so soundly that everything I’ve said will be wiped away from your mind.

No, I haven’t been smoking. I’ve never smoked. Or, well, just not seriously. I never smoked when the sun was out. You shouldn’t ever, though. No matter how cool the kid offering looks, or which Whitesnake song is playing.

Oh, the couch? The couch has bedding on it because I love building forts. So if you see me down here in the morning, know I’m doing something I love.

Do you want some of this cake? It’s from our wedding. Keeping some is supposed to be good luck. It tastes like freezer burn. I tried adding sugar, but I think I ruined it. Maybe that’s a metaphor. On second thought, it probably isn’t. I was never much for poetry or books without citations.

Look at the time. You really ought to get to sleep. I think if you just closed your eyes, you’ll sleep soundly knowing your good ole dad is just communicating rhythmically with your mom. Don’t let the clangs or bangs scare you. Think of them as I-love-you’s and we’re-solid’s and I-remember-every-word-of-our-vows’s.

Or maybe I’ll take a break and go out on the lawn.

I should take my keys. Not for any particular reason — they just feel good in my pocket.

Oh man, I’m dripping all over the place. I know it looks like I’ve been crying. OK, maybe I was crying, but that’s fine, like how it’s perfectly fine to play Fleetwood Mac in your car when you’re upset. The other cars in the drive-through can wait; you’ll finish your order when the song is over.

That’s all for me.

You should really get back to sleep, bud. It’s funny how wide your eyes get when you’re tired.

Sleep tight, kiddo.