#7: Rip Nixon

| November 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

In under the wire! Rip Nixon is the closest I’ll ever get to creating a superhero character. More than that, he’s a means to explore workaholism, something I may or may not suffer from. Enjoy.

Rip walked in the door of his two-story rural home to find his lovely wife Veronica cooking a roast. Somehow, the juicy flavor of the meal permeated the oven and wafted under his noise in the form of the most delicious smell he’d ever smelled. Upstairs, he could hear his kids bouncing around, playing some imaginary adventure game that he was sure they saw in their minds as real as the clothes on their bodies. It was another average night in Nixon household, the perfect American family. Rip struggled to take it all in and ignore the intense pain shooting through his body.

“Hey, honey.” Veronica said, giving Rip a nonchalant peck on the cheek as he walked in the kitchen. He wanted to grab her and kiss her with all of his being, but resisted. In her mind, she’d only just seen him this morning. Her smile pierced him.

Rip snapped out of it, putting down his briefcase and sitting down at the dinner table.

“How was your day?” she asked.

“It was… good. It was good, dear,” he replied. “How was yours?”

“Johnny got sent out in the hall at school today, apparently,” she said with disdain. “He told Ms. Howser to go to hell. Any idea where he got that from?”

She shot him a playful look of distrust. It was the greatest thing he’d felt in years.

“I love you, Veronica.”

His wife was taken aback at Rip’s bluntness. Every day he surprised her. When he’d left this morning, he was ecstatic about his coming work day. But now, returning home, he seemed war torn. Like he’d been through hell.

In Rip’s mind, that wasn’t far from the truth. His life was becoming more blurred as the job went on. He’d leave for months, sometimes years. But for his family, for Veronica, Johnny, and Claire, it was hours. As far as they were concerned, Daddy left for work in the morning and returned home in the evening. Monday through Friday, he was your typical Joe businessman.

The truth was, Rip had lived nearly twenty years in the past two months. Going back and forth in time, doing the dirty work of his employers. Real time was a blur. He couldn’t reconcile his real ife with his work life anymore. At what point does your job become your life and your life become your job? As the work went on, it became more and more difficult for him to remember why he loved his wife and kids. Ironically, they were the reason he accepted the job in the first place. He was unsure of how much longer he could walk through that crimson door and hide his relief to be at home. He hadn’t seen Veronica in twenty years, but he had to act like it was only 8 hours.

“I love you too, sweetie,” she smiled. “Can you go get the kids ready to eat? Dinner’s ready.”

She turned away from Rip, preparing to remove the roast from the oven and complete her meal.

Rip sighed, happy to carry out such a menial task. As he climbed the stairs towards the bumping of the kids’ playroom, an all-too-familiar beep sounded, muffled from the pager’s placement in his pocket. The sound stopped Rip dead in his tracks. He shook his head and moved into the bathroom to take the call.

Talking into the small communicator, Rip was noticeably unhappy.

“I just got here. Give me the night. Please.” he pleaded.

A voice echoed form the device, filtered through static. “No can do, cowboy. We need ya now. Urgent.”


“30s. Chicago. Should be fun.”

“It better be less than a week, and I want two full days off, guaranteed.”

“It’ll take you three days max, and I’ll give you one day off.”

Rip paused, then sighed. “Deal.”

The communication ended. Rip snuck down the hall a ways to peer in on his kids. They were fighting with swords made of poster tubes, apparently pillaging and plundering as pirates. He smiled, then turned away.

He had a passing thought that he might be a workaholic.

Category: Humor, Scifi, Superhero

About the Author ()

Joey is a writer and hoarder of nerd things from New England, currently living existence outside of New York City. He often attends rhythmic ceremonial rituals and gambles away his hard earned money. Currently he’s working on his first novel while creating comics and developing the social writing website Social Pulp, which will be going live by the end of the year. He also serves as the Comics Channel Editor for the major pop culture website CraveOnline. You can find him on Twitter, or e-mail him a lengthy diatribe voicing your utter disgust.

Leave a Reply