Not long after the pandemic shut down the world, Aunt Janice called and I answered my iPhone.
“Hi, Aunt Janice,” I said into the void. “I’m happy to see that it was you, calling.”
“Jason, I’m so hurt by you!”
I was flabergasted.
“Janice,” I said. “I love you; and I wish you happiness. How may I help you?”
“How could you?” she demanded, sobbing.
I was dumbfounded. I asked how I could help her.
“You could take that blog down! And delete that twitter or youtube or whatever that was! My grandaughter came to me today and showed it to me! How could you! I trusted you! And you… and you… and you told everyone! How could you? You didn’t know Big Daddy like I did! You didn’t! You didn’t know Mamma! I always told you stories about them so you’d understand your dad better, to know he had a rough life, and to hope that you’d forgive him! How could you! I trusted you! You probably just want the money, don’t you. Just like Scorcesse and all those movie producers. You don’t care about the truth! You just want to do what’s best for you! Well, I tell you, Jason Ian Partin, I will pray for you. I will pray for Jesus H. Christ to save your soul. I will pray for you to stop your hateful ways. I will pray for you to believe that Jesus H. Christ is our lord and savior, and that you accept him and learn to forgive your dad and me for not doing more for you. I tried! I tried! I talked about Daddy and how rough he was on your dad so that you’d understand him and forgive him and be happy! I trusted you! I trusted you! And you… and you… and you went and posted that blog! You believed Doug and all his lies! You believed… you believed… Bessie! And all her deciept and all the things she did to our family! I trusted you! And my granddaughter came to me today and showed me her iPhone and asked if that was Uncle J talkin’ about Big Daddy, and I just cried and cried and cried, and wondered what I had ever done to hurt you. I loved you! I kept our secrets! And you… and you… You! You just told them. All of them! She said 10 Million people saw what you said! How could you, Jason? How could you? Why? Why? I tell you, Jason, if Tiffany were here she’d be very disappointed in you! We all are! How could you say all those things? You didn’t know him like I did! You didn’t know him! I’ll pray for you Jason. I’ll pray for you and your dad.”
“Life can be rough on the best of us; I love you, and wish you happiness,” is what I either said or felt, or what suits this narrative truthfully; whatever that means to you.
A few months previously, when Balboa Park finally opened up to masked pedestrians, I was walking near our apartment to a weekly free community yoga session that had reopened, albeit with a much less populated and much more masked crowd, when a remarkable young lady standing beside a camera asked me a simple question.
“Would you be willing to share your biggest secret on film?”
I said yes, and she explained the safety measures she had installed. I was satisfied, and I stood in front of the mike, with my back turned, and told my biggest secret. Three days later, my Android began buzzing with people who had seen me on TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Wikipedia; I don’t recall the other venues.
Wikipedia had changed to quote me, and I was given me credentials I had never claimed nor do I have. Two days later, the Wikipedia site about Edward Grady Partin Senior vanished, like a magician’s tiny red silk handkerchief, and then reappeared, almost exactly as it had been just before The Irishman was released to theaters and streamed on Netflix. It was seen by approximately 3.7 million people on TikTok within a few days, and another five or so on Youtube. I learned that what I had said about my grandfather, Edward Grady Partin Senior, had gone viral.
“How may I help you, right now, at this moment,” I asked Janice.
She told me, and I told her that would make a wonderful book one day, and I loved her and wished her happiness.
She’s a wonderful human being.