Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Old Levis This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   Old Levis
by B. H., New City, NY
Old Levi's, cowboy boots, and 8th Street Playhouse t-shirts. During our nursery school days, we all drew family portraits. Everyone except me. Mine was always incomplete, with my father omitted. He was not omitted because I hated him, but because he was different. Different from the rest of the class's suited daddies.
Every morning as I boarded the yellow Ramaquois bus, he would see me off. I never understood why he worked at night or how he ate dinner with us every night. He wasn't a doctor, a lawyer or a teacher, but he was happy. He was doing what he wanted, running his movie theatre with Steve. He'd seen that other world and realized he needed more. He needed a family, a stable life where he could share his love. So he thought that by having a night job, he'd be able to make a family and not just be a dinner dad. While I was hating the idea of him being home, he was doing it for me so I would know him as more than just a father figure.
It must have been Aunt Jane's wedding, the first time I saw him in a suit. I remember it clearly, a cream linen suit. He seemed so uncomfortable, like he was out of character, which he was. He didn't belong in a suit. He wasn't like those suited daddies, he was mine in his old Levi's and gray 8th Street Playhouse t-shirt. Somehow the day after the wedding, his jeans seemed to suit him perfectly. Not only did he look the way he should, he looked happy.
After that day I wasn't able to see him as my dad that wasn't this or wasn't that. I saw him as my father, a man who was doing what he wanted to, living out his life in an untraditional manner, with family first, then his job. He wasn't like his parents were. He cared more about moving into his family's hearts than moving up the ladder of success. The top of his ladder was our hearts.
For a while after the movie theatre, Village life passed, he wore suits and I knew he was unhappy. Working for some satellite company, wearing suits and eating lunch with suited men just wasn't for him. That smile I was so used to seeing was missing, so were the jeans, so was my father.
I guess he found his niche once again. A lawn business might not be the most glamorous business in the world. He doesn't eat lunch with suited stuffy men anymore. He has his season, the winter, to be the "ideal" father. Jeans are the only thing he wears to work, suits are left for Temple. He's replaced his cowboy boots with Timberland hikers. To him, there's no difference between hikers or cowboy boots, t-shirts or green jackets, as long as he has his jeans, he's happy.
Looking back, with an understanding of who my father is now, I'm able to see him as more than just a man in jeans. My father has helped me see past people on the outside through himself and his jeans.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback