I check myself in the mirror before going to meet whoever it is that is paying me a visit. Knowing Mr. W. Scott its Sad Sack waiting to pounce on me. I wish my father had taught me to fight. Any fight I've ever been in ended because of bodily fluids. Mine. Not theirs.
I head down the hallway and two guards appear next to me. I'll call them Thing 1 and Thing 2. Thing 1 is a large Mexican man that has his arms covered in tattoos. Thing 2 is a large Black guy that smells like cigarette smoke. Neither of them talk to me so I take it upon myself to break the ice.
“Are you two related?” I ask. They don't reply so I continue. “Do you know who I'm going to meet? I do hope that whoever it is they brought candy. Or whiskey. I'd do anything for a shot of whiskey. Anything. You hear me, brother?” I nudge Thing 2 and both of them hook me under my arms and drag me. “Wheee!” They take me to a room that has two chairs, no windows, and a table. It looks like an interrogation room. They shove me inside and lock the door. “Do I tip you guys?”
I sit down in one of the chairs and drum on the table. Not voluntarily. My hands are shaking uncontrollably. After what feels like half an hour Mr. W. Scott enters the room. He looks at my hands and checks something off on his clipboard.
“Stand” he says. I do. “Someone is here to see you. As they speak to you I will be nearby. If there is any violence, verbal or physical, I shall intervene at my discretion. Any violence on your part will result in your immediate expulsion from this facility. Is this understood?” I nod. “Bring him in.”
My father enters the room.
I haven't seen him since I've been here of course but he looks like he's aged 10 years. He goes to shake hands with Mr. W. Scott who looks at his hand as if its covered in shit. He checks something off on his clipboard and leaves the room. My father sighs and sits down. So do I.
“You look...good, pops” I say. My father just stares at me.
“You stepmother told me everything” he says.
“Now, look, dad...”
We both just look at each other.
“Dad. Look. I don't know what she told you...”
“She. Told. Me. Everything” he says. “But the one thing she couldn't tell me was why. Why you? The fact that she did what she did with my own son doesn't bother me so much as the fact that it was with you. Someone like you. A worthless piece of shit that should have never been born under any circumstances.”
We look at each other for a few minutes.
“Do you really want me to answer you?” I ask him. He nods with his hands folded in front of his face. “Well, for one I'm really good at fucking.” He takes a deep breath. “Hey. You're the one that came here looking for answers. And I was around. You weren't. My entire life you've been so busy with work that you didn't have time for me, her, or mom.”
“So you're saying this is my fault?!” he asks.
“I'm just answering your questions” I say. The door opens. Mr. W. Scott enters.
“Stand” he says. I get up and he stops me. “No. You stand.” My father scrunches up his face at Mr. W. Scott. Mind you, my father is a man that has never been told what to do by anyone. “I do not enjoy repeating myself.” My father stands. Mr. W. Scott slides the chair back and sits down, my father hovering over him. “Would you mind standing next to your son?”
“He's no son of mine.”
“Sadly, that is not true” Mr. W. Scott says. “After witnessing the small amount of interaction between the two of you I can say with absolute certainty that he is your son. You both exhibit a lack of respect for authority as well as narcissistic tendencies.”
“You know all that from us talking for a few minutes?” my father asks.
“I knew it the moment I saw you” Mr. W. Scott says. “And since this is a rare time where Mr. Alan Thompson is choosing not to speak, no doubt due to the amount of pain he must be experiencing, not from your verbal assault, but from delirium tremens, I will continue to speak uninterrupted.” Mr. W. Scott places his clipboard on the table facing down. “If your son was such a terrible mistake or 'a worthless piece of shit that should have never been born under any circumstances' as you so eloquently put it, why, pray tell, did you groom him for a career in your present occupation?”
“You heard that?” my father asks.
“I hear everything” Mr. W. Scott replies. “Do you know the definition of a father? Before you ask, I mean more than a male that provides sperm. Would you say that you raised him as a child?”
“I didn't come here for this shit!” my father shouts. Immediately Thing 1 and Thing 2 are in the doorway. “I fed him. I clothed him. I paid for everything including his stay at this fucking place!”
“Children feed and clothe their dolls” Mr. W. Scott says. “That does not make them fathers. You may leave.”
“I want my money back!”
“I can assure you that that will not be happening” Mr. W. Scott says. “And lower your voice. We do not wish to disturb the patients.”
“You're fucking crazy” my father says to Mr. W. Scott. He heads to the door that is being blocked by Thing 1 and Thing 2. Mr. W. Scott loosens his tie.
“That was an insult” Mr. W. Scott says. “A verbal insult. Don't you agree?”
“Yes” Thing 1 and Thing 2 say at the same time. I don't say a goddamned word.
“You can't be serious” my father says. “Get these assholes out of the way before I call the police.” Thing 1 and Thing 2 flip their ID's over and I'll be damned if they don't have police badges. My father shrinks a few inches.
“The police do not pay enough for many of their men to make a living” Mr. W. Scott says while rolling up his sleeves. “Some call it moonlighting. Some even call it illegal. I call it being prepared for anything.”
“Look” my father says. “I'll just leave and not say anything.”
“Do I have your word?” Mr. W. Scott says. My father nods. Mr. W. Scott looks at Thing 1 and Thing 2 and they step aside. My father rushes out of the room. “You know what to do” he tells them. They nod and leave. “Three weeks.”
“Three weeks?” I ask.
“The less you know, the better” Thing 2 says.
“Now back to you” Mr. W. Scott says.