know your role
weighing out unsettled priorities · 3/08

Where he sat was a place only marked for a computer, phone, other office supplies and invoices from clients that owed for services provided. Weeks went by when he hadn't said a word to his father and those weeks were different from the next. Argumentative, or chummy, their communication could go either way. That Monday morning wasn't different than any checking in. His sight singular from the perspective, questioned what he was looking at the moment his old man joined him for a cup of coffee. 

Exchange of current events without a no holds bar was what he missed oddly enough and remained quiet as the elder Wilson was naming off his gripes and unenthusiastic excitement to celebrate a milestone he never thought to happen. Nathan recoiled on the idea of marriage and more so that his step-mother was damn near the same age, only she had five more on him. If it had been what David wanted, that was fine with him. He wasn't the one to move down that lane as existing on a level he tried to work through with his partner in crime and most of all, girlfriend, because it wasn't a projected issue.

"I'll tell you what. Stop by, bring her, say your obligatory congrats and the scram. I'm not asking you to come with a trip to Bermuda," his father laid out his wants. 

"I don't know. Every time I stop by my blood pressure goes up or indigestion gets me. You have all fuckin' fun with your inherited friends." 

"Suit yourself." Elder Wilson, patted his son on the shoulder as he departed from the desk to gather more coffee for the morning. "When's the yoga whatchamacalit end? What have you thought about doing with it? Never and I mean ever come visit me with that wholegrain hippy shit either."  

A sharp look thrown in the older gent's direction never died out and he couldn't have been any more annoyed than he was then. The brick cold can of ginger ale, caved in with much pressure clutching absentmindedly. Nathan looked down when it's metal began poking his hand on verge of puncturing flesh. He looked up and sighed. "It's done. Certified and now I just have to go find a less annoying instructor to shadow and weasel my way into teaching a class. Haven't settled on the what yet but will meet with some people I've met at the classes, soon. How's the kid doing here?" 

The question about his daughter didn't come up often between the two as his own dad became a fill in while the craziness of his other half was obligatory to straighten up. He felt jealous but knew she was in slight better hands. His old man was stable and provided room and board, along with a job that kept her nose clean so to speak but he felt like the gum underneath their shoes as it dawned on him how little time between their first meeting last summer to now, had been spent.

"Always on time. Takes direction well than any one anticipated. Thinking about letting her handle more responsibility even. She's doing good. When was the last time you've seen or heard from her?"

"Eh, we've spoke a few days ago. Just to see how she was doing. Haven't seen her in weeks. Time is not adding up," Nathan explained. With his excuses seeming tired more often than not, he couldn't pull the truth out of him if he wanted to. David wouldn't believe it but already noticed the abstract changes that have gone on physically. No word was ever mentioned about looking his only son in the eye wondering why it's life had been depleted. Color gone and almost opaque in detail. He never asked about certain scars that were minor in visibility, now shown to be deformed.  His nod was unreadable and nothing was said after grabbing coffee to meet back at the receptionist's counter.

"See her and soon. Have dinner, lunch, breakfast. Not in that order. She likes pancakes like you do." David directed and threw back a sip. He didn't have the time like Nathan recently was given, to sit around and talk all day. He had businesses to run, a household to funnel money into, and a granddaughter he unconditionally cared for. Nathan's struggle with this was mounted from jealousy, his own inconsistent life, and the rule of insecurities to believe the young woman was better off if he played behind in the shadows. Where stability was provided, he counted on his father to man the ship until he finally could feel comfortable.

"I'm following, pop. Go, I'll show myself out," Nathan demised the older man just to give him a reason to sit there to wallow a little in his own head. Knocking out one obligation to make room for the one that was supposed to matter, was taking longer than he realized. Time was going to be a horse in the race that no one had an advantage over, including the slow and steady one. He waved off the elder, and looked down immensely at is can. The fizzing still fresh only condensing more as his hand hugged the can with more pressure than before. He tested the limitation of the alloy that kept its contents within. When he felt his phone buzzing against his chest, via the pocket of his shirt, it was fetched to catch the incoming message.

Nothing of importance that made him read over once again. Before he could put it away, he thumbed through contacts, stopping clear of the name that should've been more frequent in is complicated life. He was protecting her but also doing a disservice at the same time, which put him in an unbalanced position than he already was. Speaker on and the ringing tinkered with as he thumbed the volume down some. On the fourth ring, he found himself waiting for the voicemail. Surprised at the voice smashing that assumption and his chest caved from exhalation. Nathan hesitated in speaking with the thought that he was forgotten, only with his surprised to hear his name over the line said in an annoyed questioned form.

"Whatever you're doing, stop. We're making a trip to the hardware store." There wasn't much of a protest only silence from the other line. While he held his breath for the no or even the line going dead, relief echoed in his ear from confirmation. They would get somewhere he hoped.