Coach always says make a list of priorities. He says, make a list otherwise this world makes you lose sight of what matters. So here is my list of priorities now: God, hockey, family, Bristol, Remington, my Honda off-road, and this baby. It’s that last part that’s killing me right now.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Bristol. She’s fine. But I sure as shit didn’t think this is where I’d end up when we snuck off into the woods all those nights and she finally let me do what I felt in my bones God had intended for us to do. Maybe God did want us to have this baby. That’s what Mrs. P keeps saying, and hell if I’m gonna disagree with that nasty kootch. She’s the kinda lady who’ll saw your nuts off with a rusty hunting blade while she’s baking cupcakes for Sunday chapel.
All I ever wanted to do was to play hockey. Ride my bike. Shoot shit. And now I’m sitting here in this monkey suit, bored out of my skull, watching the old man yap away. I can’t even understand a word he’s saying, if you wanna know the truth; Bristol has to nudge my ribs to tell me when to clap. But I just keep staring at his big jaw, like the flappy part of a hound dog. And I keep wondering when this speech is going to end and I keep wondering when all this is going to end and I keep wondering, wondering more than anything—how did a fucking redneck like me wind up here?
I’ve known Bristol since we were born, more or less, but it wasn’t until she turned 15 that she—I dunno, how do you say it?—got tits and everything? I used to tease her that her name was like cleaning fluid, like something you use to mop up the floor. “This Bristol really makes my kitchen shine!” I’d say, and she would slap my wrist, but she would hold her hand there a bit too long, and I could tell, y’know? I could tell.
So it was the night after the game against the West Valley Wolfpack (3-2, Warriors) and we all went to Wasilla Gulch to ride bikes and pound Coors, but even that seemed kind of boring to me that night, so I pulled Bristol into the woods and that’s when she unloaded all those words that got me here.
“Levi Johnston,” she said, her head tilted, her straight hair swinging in the breeze, “I love you.”
I can see a hockey puck coming across a pitch black ice rink. I can see a wolf dart across a field two miles away. But I didn’t see that coming. And I’ll tell you this: It felt good.
“How much do you love me?” I asked, packing my lip with the chaw left in my stash.
She rocked up and down on her toes like a little girl. “Whaddaya mean?”
I spat into the bushes, then leaned in and wrapped my hand around her waist. “You kiss me with this chaw in my mouth?”
And the next thing I knew, our tongues were wrapped around each other. And it’s like God sent a lightning bolt straight into my Wranglers that night. I’m not shitting you. I had wood for days.
I haven’t spoken to my buddies since this whole mess began. My cell keeps ringing, and I can see their names pop up on the screen, but I’m not allowed to answer. And so six months later, when she told me she was ready, that’s where we went again—I made a pile of leaves on the ground, didn’t even chew, brought a blanket, tried to make it special. She cried when it happened, but they always cry, and afterward, we prayed.
I don’t know if God didn’t hear our prayers, but Bristol and I went to those woods every time we could for the next three months. Proverbs 26:11 tells us, “He that is cursed without cause, the curse shall do him no more harm than the bird that flies over his head.” That means dumb motherfuckers do dumb shit again and again. But maybe God does want this child to happen, because if he didn’t, why would I be here watching the old man? Why wouldn’t I be at home with my buddies, watching this three-ring circus on a flatscreen with a cold Coors in my hand?
I haven’t spoken to my buddies since this whole mess began. My cell keeps ringing, and I can see their names pop up on the screen, but I’m not allowed to answer. Can’t talk to nobody. It’s like being caught in a dream—no wait, you know what it’s like? It’s like that Metallica song, where the guy is caught inside his own body: Taken my speech, taken my hearing, taken my soul, left me with life in hell. That said, there is some fine poontang in this building. Not that I’m lookin’, I’m just sayin’. If I could talk to my buddies, that might be the first thing I say. Also that the Bristol tattoo on my finger wasn’t my idea, cause they’re gonna ride me about that for months.
About three months ago, Bristol started acting like a righteous bitch. I should have known something was wrong because she’s never like that, not even when she’s on her period. She started being a nasty-ass kootch, just like her mom, and I told her that much, and she slapped my wrist only this time she meant it, and she said the words I will never forget. She said. “I’m pregnant.”
Do you know what it’s like to hear those words? I felt like a moose who had been doing nothing, nothing but what nature called. And then some sonofabitch leveled his high-powered rifle scope on me, fired an ace shot, and I fell right there, right then, shot in the gut, the bullet traveling faster than the bang.
I’m pregnant. All I could think was: Run, motherfucker, run. But I couldn’t move. I don’t know if I was scared of Mrs. P and I don’t know if I was scared of God, and maybe I was scared of all of them, but I couldn’t run. I just stood there.
“What do we do?” I asked Bristol, tears turning her eyes into a racoon’s.
“What the fuck do you think we do?” she asked, and that’s when I knew I was really cooked, because Bristol Palin doesn’t talk like that, doesn’t use that tone of voice, the voice of the nasty kootch.
I went home that night, and I punched a hole in my bedroom wall.
People talk about Mrs. P. being hot (I guess), but it’s Mr. P. who’s the real celebrity in my town. Ask my mom about him, and she’ll coo like he’s George Fucking Clooney. Mr. P. is a good guy, I think, but he scares the shit out of me. I know you see him on TV, holding that baby, and you think to yourself, what a pussy. But let me tell you: He ain’t a pussy.
He kinda squeezed me funny—his grip is like a prize fighter’s, and he kept rubbing my shoulder like his hand didn’t know what else to do. “Heard you got your dick into some trouble,” he said the next afternoon, as we stood in the garage, fiddling with the transmission on his snow machine.
“Sir,” I said, because what do you say to something like that?
“I hope you know your dick got all of us in trouble.” He revved the engine at that moment, and probably, though I hate to think it, I jumped.
“Sir,” I responded. Though what I was really thinking was: Run, motherfucker, run.
He clapped me on the back of my neck and pulled me in close. I thought, for the most miserable moment, he was going to kiss me. “Son, do you care about the future of our God-fearing country?” he asked.
I blinked, several times. “Yes, sir.”
He smiled, but it made me go all icy inside. “That’s what I thought.”
Just then, Mrs. P drove up in the driveway in a 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 in flame red, just like I’ve always wanted. She stepped out the car, still wearing heels, and walked over to me. People say Mrs. P is a pit bull with lipstick, but that’s not exactly right. Because a pit bull snarls and growls, mauls you till your flesh is gnawed away. That ain’t Mrs. P at all. No, she’s more like a viper, one strike that leaves you dead.
“Welcome to the family, Leviticus,” she said, handing me the keys to the truck.
I couldn’t believe it. The words came out all stuttered. “It’s. Mine?”
Mr. P. gave a good howl at that. “Yes, son, it sure as shit is.”
They cut my hair the next day. I did not object.
Look, all those dudes that are calling my cell phone right now, the cell phone I am forbidden to answer, they do not understand. The future of our God-fearing country? A new Ram 3500? Well, what the hell would YOU do?
So I met the old man on the tarmac. He’s OK, I guess. He kinda squeezed me funny—his grip is like a prize fighter’s, and he kept rubbing my shoulder like his hand didn’t know what else to do. But the old man smells funny. He smells like, I dunno, like onions and denture cream. Mrs. P says it’s because he can’t lift his bum arm, because he’s a war hero and I should shut my blasted yap, but how was I supposed to know that?
“Eeesh, what is that smell?” I asked out loud when I met him, standing there on that tarmac, all the cameras firing off like a 21-gun salute, and at that moment, Mrs. P looked like she was sharpening that rusty hunting blade in her mind.
So much for the Straight Talk Express.
Oh, the tattoo was not my idea, like I said. Some chick called me, and the next thing I knew I was getting the tattoo, and by the way, if I had to get a tattoo it would not be Bristol much as I love her it would be the Warriors and our fucking killer 19-6-1 season. But I don’t get these choices nowadays. By the way, there are a lot of nerve cells in your left finger, cause that mutherfucker hurt.
So now I’m going to marry Bristol, and you know what? A fucking redneck like me could do worse. She’s all right, Bristol. She’s good with children. I remember babysitting Trig one night right after he was born. Of course, all I wanted was to do was get in Bristol’s pants but she kept brushing me aside to take care of that baby, and I looked at that child at one point, and I said to her, “He’s special isn’t he? He’s different.”
Bristol looked at me funny, like I didn’t understand. “He’s God’s special child,” she said.
I liked the sound of that. And so maybe, like everyone is telling me, maybe—so is ours.