The Good Doctor 62
When I walked into the house I couldn’t see where my mother was but she yelled at me, “Eric, your son is running around naked! Will you please DO something!”
Jase was sitting naked about twenty-four inches from the television. I’m pretty sure that if he thought about it he could count the pixels.
I knelt down behind him and put my hands on his shoulders. “What’s with the whole naked thing?”
He answered in that dreamy far away voice that kids use when you talk to them during TV watching. “Watchin TV, Dad.” It pretty much lets you know that you’re getting only about five percent of their mental activity.
“Is this the naked channel?”
“Huh?” His eyes never left the screen.
“How come you don’t have any clothes on?”
He held up a blue ball of cloth and mumbled. “They don’t work, Dad. I can’t get em on.”
I shook out the blue cloth and it turned up to be a pair of little boy boxers that were inside out and twisted into a ball. This can be a Gordian knot to a kid in a hurry to watch TV. I untwisted them and said, “Stand up, I’ll help.”
Jase put one hand on my shoulder and stood up but his attention to his program never wavered. He lifted one foot and held it back in my direction and I put it through one leg of his shorts, then the next. He is so skinny and his little white butt looks so small.
“You need to eat more, Jase. Maybe you’re not getting enough food.” With my mother doing the cooking I knew that this wasn’t any kind of a possibility and I also knew that I looked the same way when I was his age.
“I don’t wanna eat, I wanna watch TV.” I know, I know. I kissed the top of his head and decided that would have to hold him until I thought more about it. But he looks so small. Impulsively I leaned forward and wrapped my arms around him. I held him for a second, soaking in his warmth and then let him go. He’s oblivious to all but the dancing pixels.
Then it occurred to me that it was the middle of the afternoon. “Why did you change your underwear?”
It took about twenty seconds to realize that that question hadn’t even come close to sinking in.
I repeated. “How come you changed your underwear?” This is a dangerous question when put to a little boy. Actually it’s a dangerous question when put to any male and I was about to retract it when my mother appeared in the doorway.
She wearily waved a dish cloth at me and said, “Believe me, you’re better off not knowing.”
Then she yelled to Jase, “Jason, did you wash your hands?”
She looked at me and shook her head. “You dunno the half of it.”
Jane walked into my office and stared at me over the top of her glasses. “I don’t know why you can’t do something!”
The first thing that occurred to me was that she needed to be more specific. The second thing that occurred to me was that I’d like to kill the bitch.
I kept filling out my order for grinding wheels and said, “And what would that be about, Jane?” I wondered happily if model #847F, which I was ordering now, was spinning at 1800 rpms, just how much of her face I’d be able to remove in say…ten seconds.
“He’s out there! Just sitting in his patrol car! Staring at the building!”
I looked up. “Mark?”
She rolled her eyes dramatically and I had to grip the edge of the desk to stop my hand from grabbing the letter opener and plunging it into her heart. “Of course him!!! Who else would it be?”
“How long has he been there?”
“Oh for God’s sake! Who knows! He’s making Ellen and me nervous! You gotta do something! On the Nancy Grace show they was talking about a policeman that went crazy and was tryin to run women down with his patrol car. He’s probably just waitin for us to go to lunch so he can get us!” If I thought for one moment that was true I’d send them both to lunch early but there’s no way that I’ve got that kind of luck.
I hadn’t talked to Mark since yesterday, my freakout day. By the time I got back upstairs they were all gone. My mother was sitting alone at the kitchen table eating a small bowl of meatballs with sauce and sipping a glass of red wine. The house was totally still. She looked up at me and frowned.
She said, “You look shaky.”
“Aaaah, I guess I am.” I did feel lightheaded.
She got up. “Sit, I’ll get you a plate.”
I slumped into my usual chair. I maybe even felt sick. “You think I look okay? I mean, I do feel a little odd.”
“You’re a hypochondriac, Eric. You’re not sick, just a little shaky.” She slid a bowl of meatballs in front of me. Six of them with a ladle of red sauce and a heavy dusting of parmesan cheese, a piece of garlic bread rested on top of everything. “You’ve got the metabolism of a gerbil, you always did.” The savory aroma rising from that bowl almost made my eyes cross with anticipation.
“He went to pickup the kids. They’re with your father.”
“How’s dad?” I know, I know but this is how we approach these things. First you pretend that nothing happened. We know that something did happen but we like to attack these things obliquely.
“The usual…which in your father’s case means making a mess and watching that stupid CNN. I really can’t imagine why he needs to know about all that stuff. All a man needs to know about is his family. You take care of your family and the world takes care of itself.” My mom, the philosopher.
“He always liked the news, Ma.”
And then the shift. She leaned forward and said earnestly, “Mark is not a bad person, Eric. Do you think I’d turn over David to someone who didn’t deserve him?”
I sighed. “No, I’m not thinking that, Ma. It’s more about losing him than about who he’s being lost to. If that makes any sense.”
“Eric, you make it sound like he’s gonna be living on the moon! He’ll only be two blocks away!”
“Whadya mean two blocks?”
“I’m renting him my house over on Humboldt. It’s a two minute walk, maybe less.”
“You own a house on Humboldt?”
Her eyes grew wide in exasperation. “You knew that, Eric! I told you that!”
“You never told me that! When did you buy it?”
“Eric! You signed the papers! Don’t you remember? Don’t you remember our conversation about the rents?” Maybe she really is doing drugs! Geritol shooters! Or maybe Crack martini’s….or something.
“I signed the papers? Why would I sign the papers? And what rents?”
“Eric, I told you specifically that if I get hit by a truck don’t forget to collect the rents! I gave you a list!” Her voice kept getting louder. “Of all the houses!!”
“Oh. That was those papers with all the addresses?”
“Yes! What did you think it was?” The truth is that I didn’t think about it at all. I wonder where I put the list.
“You collect rents from all those addresses?”
My mother looked around quickly like she thought someone might be eavesdropping. “Not so loud, Eric! You never know who’s listening. Nobody needs to know my business.”
I leaned forward and whispered. “You stole those houses?”
“Eric…unless you’re a house mover you can’t steal a house. I bought those houses…well most of them. Some of them Grandpa left me.” She took a sip of wine. “But I had so much money coming in I had to invest it in something…and I like real estate.” She smiled. “I have a talent for it. But still, the less people know about your business the better off you are. Know what I mean?”
“Money coming in?”
She shrugged. “Yeah…money…dollars.
She shook her head in exasperation. “From Grandpa’s vegetable stand! Eric, you worked there!”
“You made a lotta money from that?”
She placed her hand in the middle of the table with her palm down stared into my eyes and arched one eyebrow. “Eric, that place was a gold mine! I never woulda closed it but Shaw’s was hot after that site. At first the only thing they’d consider was buying the land but after I told em no about ten times they agreed to lease it. Then, slowly, I started leasing even more of Grandpa’s land but pretty soon I knew that I needed to use that land myself. That’s when I started building.”
“Well, why did I have to sign the papers?” What does she mean building?
“In case I die, Eric, not that I’m planning to but I wanted your name on the properties so that you’d get them…without any hassles. But for God’s sake don’t forget to collect the rents. All the numbers are on those papers. And Eric, I hope I don’t have to tell you that if they pay in cash….” She put a finger to the side of her nose and tapped it. No explanation was necessary. I am, after all, Italian.
“The other thing, Eric, is that we’re still gonna pay for David’s education. Mark is never gonna be able to do it on a cop’s salary and David needs a good education if he’s not gonna be a bum.”
She took another sip of wine and looked down at the top of the table almost shyly. She said softly, “I didn’t tell Mark that part yet. I was thinking that maybe you would when you talk to him.”
“Me talk to him? I gotta talk to him? Ma…I feel stupid. I almost beat him up.”
“Eric, you tore a button off of his uniform. I don’t think it qualifies as beating him up.” She sighed and shrugged. “You did surprise him though. I guess that counts.”
She poked at a meatball with her fork. “When you talk to him, Eric, you’ll see. He’s not the terrible person that you were thinking and the important thing is that he’s David’s real father. Think how you’d feel if Jase was in that position.” I already had thought about that.
She took another sip of wine and stared at me. “You’re a good father, Eric but a boy needs his real father. Could you deny him that?”
I hate it when other people are right!
After Jane got done ranting I walked out onto our loading dock at the warehouse and then walked along the side of the building to the front. For some reason I wanted to look at Mark without him seeing me staring at him through the front door and without Jane and Ellen watching me stare at him.
He was sitting in his cruiser watching the front door but occasionally squeesing his eyes shut as if he was in pain and looking down. He was broad shoulders like it’s obvious that David is gonna have and dark brown hair that is cut a little longer than you’d expect for a cop. When you think about how the both look it’s certain that Mark is David’s dad.
I tapped on the passenger side window and Mark’s head jerked up and his eyes popped open full. He seemed to take a deep gulp of air and then reached over and opened the door.
I slid in and said what I had been thinking. “You do know that your son is gay, don’t you? I mean I’m not telling any secrets, here, it’s pretty much common knowledge.”
He nodded. “Yeah, he told me but to tell you the truth I figured all along that he was gonna be.”
“And you’re okay with that?”
“Yeah…oh yeah. The important thing is him…and that he’s happy.” He turned his head and looked out over the hood of the car. “He’s a fine boy.”
He turned and looked at me. “Thank you. Thank you for all you’ve done. I heard about what he was facing after his mom died. You gotta believe that I didn’t know about that. I would never have left him to face that.”
He turned sideways and put his knee up on the seat. “You gotta believe me. When I left…when she asked me to leave…she said that she didn’t need me or want me to have anything to do with David. I wanted to share custody of David with her but she said that seeing me was only gonna hurt him, that she wanted me totally out of his life.”
“At first I called all the time but then it became obvious that there was no way that she was gonna let me even talk to him on the phone and after awhile I began to think that maybe she was right, maybe I was bad for him. I already felt like a total loser and a scum bag so it wasn’t much of a stretch. And every time I asked her if she needed money she told me that she was doing better than me…she made up shit about getting these big promotions and all the money she was making. It was all lies but I didn’t know that then.”
Suddenly his eyes filled with conflict and he blurted out, “Look…she caught me with a guy!” He looked down and shook his head. “That’s so hard to tell you…to say it out loud. It only happened the one time…my best friend…ex best friend.” He inhaled deeply. “He freaked too. I lost them both. But I never figured on losing David.”
He turned and straightened out in the seat, looking forward. “When she stopped even letting me talk to David on the phone I took off. There was no reason to stay. I went to California and learned how to be a cop.” He turned his head and stared at me. “I really am a good cop. Not that you could tell that from the way I’ve been acting.”
“I realized that I could use being a cop to check up on David, to make sure he was okay and that’s how I learned what happened. By the time I found out about it you and Pete had already taken David in so I checked up on you guys and found out that you were good guys.”
“At first I thought maybe the best thing I could do was to just stay away. I mean there was no way that I could give David more than you’re giving him. But in the end I couldn’t do it. I gotta believe that there’s enough value in David having his real dad around that it’s worth the upheaval.”
“But Eric, I also know that you guys have gotta stay part of David’s life. I know that there may be some awkward moments but you guys have gotta be there for him too. It’d kill him if he thought that he was losing you.”
I flopped down on the bed next to Pete rolled onto my stomach and propped my chin up on my hand.
“I told him that of course we’d be there for David…and for him too. He really is a good guy. He kinda just got blindsided by his gay side. I pretty much know the feeling.”
Pete was slowly shoving his hot hands up under the back of my tee shirt and gently kneading the muscles. On the one hand this was incredibly relaxing and on the other hand it was making me very horny. He pushed my shirt all the way up to my shoulders swung his leg over my butt and as his weight rested on my thighs he started kissing my back between my shoulder blades. The weight of his hard cock was lying hot and pulsing on my underwear covered ass. I rested my face on my crossed arms and pushed my butt back towards him slightly. He grunted and lightly bit me.
When I’m in this postion and fortunately that’s fairly often, I always think of how lions, when they’re mating, seem to bite the neck of the lucky lioness getting plowed. Why this seems to piss her off is a mystery to me cause it makes me hotter than hell and I tend to think of that scene when Pete is doing what he’s doing.
Finally he strips off my underwear and shoves my legs apart with his knees and as he begins to move into me he cradles my head in his arms while his teeth sink softly into the back of my neck. Unlike the lioness I don’t scream just whimper and push back to meet his thrusts.