Last updated December 11, 2018
Three years later, on the first of November, Abel Erikson was not enjoying the view of San Francisco's thick grey fog and the dreariness of seeing nothing beyond the hedges across the street. He sighed wearily and folded his arms across his chest missing the boy who was not at home by his side. Always together. And when apart longing for the other. The way he imagined they would always be after Rome. He swung around eyeing two decanters, one full of gin, another brandy on top of the sideboard in the corner of the front room. No one in sight. He could really do it, could pretend to fool even himself. He wiped his mouth hurrying across the room. At the sideboard he grabbed the shaker; then stopped and breathed a sigh of relief. What was he doing? His eyes were wide open. What was he thinking? Except he wanted to scream and never stop.
Once upon a time, he could drink until he was literally blue in the face. There were no hangovers then, no problems. Now, he went to therapy and made special appearances at AA meetings upon his therapist's suggestion. He hated the meetings, having to sit there in that melancholy room, half listening to their stories, thinking he wasn't as far gone as those people. Drinking out of control and waking up in a gutter was not something he had in common with any of them.
He closed his eyes silently admitting he was powerless over alcohol-that his life had become unmanageable. The second step he whispered but at mid-sentence hesitated and his eyes popped open hearing her coming down the hall. It was an annoying patter like little feet. He put the shaker down glaring at the French door and then her appearance in the threshold with snow-white hair erect like an electric bush and a beige gown clinging unnaturally making her look naked.
She was gasping to the point of drooling like a bitch, her pale blue eyes fixated upon the chandelier. She didn’t see him and switched off the lights.
"Farchrisake, turn that light back on,” Abel said. “Turn it on, now."
"Ahab," the woman cried clicking the switch back and, squinting, she saw it was not Ahab but Abel, and she shivered.
"That’s right, it is I,” Abel said scornfully. “The other you ardently hate.”
"I don't hate you so much,” she blurted out.
"Why I’m flattered you don’t hate me so much considering you’ve degenerated into a mere slut.”
“I’m your mother,” cried the woman, with sudden vivacity.
“Then be a good mother. Go back to your room."
“I don’t understand.”
“Of course, you don’t. Now, get the hell out.”
“How dare you speak to me that way. I get an allowance every month, young fellow. Ahab deposits it in the bank to take care of this house-."
"Ahab made those deposits of your measly pennies into his own personal account right down to your last nickel.”
"Ahab wouldn't have.”
“He would have let this house foreclose from right under your nose if-"
"Why must you make up filthy lies?"
"I just can't get it.” He threw his hands up in the air helplessly and looked dubiously up at the ceiling. "After all the miserable years you've spent with Ahab you still insist defending him against me when it was Ahab who defrauded you for his vile obsession."
"I'll get Ahab. He'll speak the truth! Unlike your lies."
” You’ll have to go all the way to 6th Street to find that idiot you so cherish. He’s been evicted and will never again set foot in this house."
The thought of Ahab being evicted had never actually occurred to her. It seemed so remote. Finally, some truth of Ahab’s eviction sank temporally, and she felt sick remembering that terrible day when the police came and dragged Ahab away until she got a splitting headache. "Ahab can't be gone," she snapped. "He simply can't be. Why would you evict him? Your own brother? It was because of her, wasn’t it? That woman?"
"Why mother you are that woman," Abel said.
"I don't hate you so much."
"Get out or shall I remove you with my own hands? Dearest mother, you wouldn't prefer that..."
"All right,” she said. "I am leaving...now." She recoiled without shame and made her way out of the front room and down the hall feeling her hands along the wall like a blind woman until she reached her bedroom near the stairs that led up to the master bedroom. She went inside her room and mustered enough strength to slam the door.
"Wretched bitch!" Abel said biting his bottom lip until he tasted blood and then got an intense metallic aftertaste, and he was aroused upon seeing himself in a mirror on a back wall off from the sideboard. Oh for goodness sake, he squealed. It was really happening after so long ago. His manhood, his dick stiffened as hard as steel. It kept swelling and pulsating through the slit of his boxer ready to explode. Effortlessly he touched it, then pulled it out, cupping it in his hand and jerking it from the base. He burst into naughty laughter and shouted the boy’s name as he shot enough semen to seal a beauty cream jar. Sweaty and relieved he sighed and purred like a cub, closed his eyes and hugged himself in his arms like a lover.
The front door banged open downstairs. Footsteps pounded, rushing up. Abel tucked the cloth into his pocket, squirted club soda into a glass, his face glowing hurrying over to the sofa.
"Darling, I’m home," the boy's breathless voice from in the doorway.
His boy had come safely home. He wouldn't complain or question him about his day away from him. Besides, he had argued long enough with Zelta, his scraggly mother, about those goddamn cats. That had exhausted him. "Well, don't just stand there,” he said wiping his eyes. "Come on in my boy."