For a decade and a half, even after holding him, even after
watching him nurse, even after one night of rocking him to sleep… He’s been hers. Always hers.
He was her son, when I sat next to her on that bench, in
Home, Pennsylvania. Her son, that I
suddenly pictured her with. Her walking
with him; him loping in that awkward four-year-old kind of way, down by the
He was her son, when I sat outside that fucking emergency
room in San Diego. Sat outside while his
bigger sister lay on a damn table dying.
While I held her cure. The same
way I’d held his mother’s salvation in my fingers.
Her son. And how many
more test tubes would I hold while she suffered the fate of knowing me?
My son is none of your business.
He’s been her son.
And how many holidays did I sit there, and watch the world go by, before
I even kissed her? How many time times
did I drag her from one place to the next, over a Martin Luther King Day, or a
Fourth of July? Days when she would be
free from work and, if he existed, he’d be free from school, and they’d trudge
out somewhere amongst the swamps of D.C. to investigate whatever forensic
science would have them dig up.
Because her son? Her
son is inquisitive, and curious, and a pain in the fucking ass. I know this.
After Home, I could see him.
After San Diego, I could see her.
After a cow came through my roof in Kroner, Kansas, I could see them
both. All three of them, in fact. A little girl, a younger brother… Scully… a
You want to know what I couldn’t see? Curled up on the edge of that mattress in a
I couldn’t see me. I
Chasing fucking monsters and ghosts and everything that
dares to creep in the night. Never could
see me. Uncle Spooky, they’d call me,
and I would bring them a present or two at birthdays, at Christmas. Never Pops.
Never, never, never Dad.
I held him, that first night home. He was pissed and Scully was tired. So, I held him. But I wasn’t a man, then. I was still chasing ghosts. When she convinced me to leave them, to hide,
the argument was too easy.
When Skinner told me what happened, I wasn’t a man then,
either. I had no say when she gave up
her son. I cried like a bitch, into his
shoulder. He’ll never tell.
And so even when she held me, in that god damn cell, he was
her son. He’d always been. I jacked off into a jar for her son. I jacked off into her, for her son.
Years later, she came home from the hospital, anxious about a
boy. A decade of loss between. And I held her, I mourned, because what else
can you do? I was still a child, in so
many ways. Still just an older brother. I might have been edging 50, but I hadn’t
grown up yet.
“Our son,” I said, but he was still just ours. Hers, mostly, and somewhat mine.
She left me. There
was a lot I couldn’t do for her, and some she couldn’t do for me, so she left
and I hated her, but today? No, today I
get it. I understand. She left me, for me. And now? Now I’m back.
It took years. It
took running for twelve miles until I wanted to die in the reeds by our house.
It took collapsing under two hundred pounds, when I didn’t
have someone to spot me.
But mostly, it took sitting in that quiet fucking house,
with her gone. Looking at his
picture. Looking at his picture and
living with it. He’s not hers.
He’s not ours, even.
He is but he isn’t.
William is my son.
And so, when that fucker has the audacity to bring up his
name, I feel every day of that run, every day of those 200 hundred pounds,
every god damn day ricochets through my fist into his mouth. He drops straight, arm out.
Turn and spit out the blood out from my mouth. He got me too, but I’m not nearly as hurt as
He’s unconscious at this point and I don’t care. Something has welled within me.
From 1 to 'dying inside' how do you feel about the new chapter?
I read it once and I felt sorta hallow, then again and I t e a r e d u p and now I’m just. Stuck on page four. Looking at Fat and his kids. Being a proud mom. Pretending everything else didn’t happen hahahahahahaha