He tilts his head forward. It feels like he’s lining up our eyes. Truth. I’m going to have to feed him some truth.
Her face was impassive.Has she trrrried to contact you afterrrr she left?
Once. After my last book published. She sent me an e-mail. Asked to meet with me.And? How did you respond?I didn’t. I’m not interested. Forgiveness is for Buddhists.
What are you then? she asked.She considered me for a moment, and then said, Tell me about your father. Tell me about yourrrr fatherrrr.
Her pen scratched on her notepad. It sounded itchy. Or maybe I was just aggravated.
I imagined her writing; Will not talk about father. Abuse? There was no abuse. Just nothingness.I fiddle with the buttons on my shirt. I’ll drag down my mattress, I say. You can have the couch. I mean, if that’s okay?
He nods. Do you want me to heat you something to eat? he asks. My mom sent over shepherd’s pie.I’m not really hungry. I shrug. He offers up the casserole dish on his lap, and I carry it to the kitchen. I stand at the fridge, out of sight, wishing I hadn’t let him come here. This was what the kids called weird. Like taking a modern piece of furniture into an old crypt, weird; fried chicken in a vegetarian restaurant, weird.
There’s a man at the door…The casserole dish clatters to the counter. I march past Judah to the front door, where Howard Delafonte stands, just over the threshold, slipping off his raincoat like he belongs here. It’s Tuesday, I think. His regular day to come. The eating house groans. It doesn’t like him.