Hunched in the chair is the figure of a young man, the pear of his pregnant torso heaving beneath a striped shirt, pricking up the edges of a plum tweed jacket close to popping buttons, despite its not being done up. There is a bruise-colored bowtie on the floor next to a lonely black boot; a leg with fine hairs on it squirms out straight from the trousers leg, scuffing itself on the edge of the rocker’s worn seat, the toes curling and spreading next to the other foot, which is flattening itself against the replica wood plank flooring.
His father’s hand holds a cloth to the man’s forehead.
One peridot eye gleams from beneath the cloth; it finds Jack and slams him in the guts like a homemade shiv.
“He’ll be back soon, Jack,” the gasping man says softly as he labors, “...I’m sorry but I can’t talk to you now. I have to concentrate on this...” He tries for a smile, then turns away to scream soundlessly into Jack’s father’s chest.
‘Let him be, my lonely boy,” the Woman, his mother, suddenly breathes as she looks at Jack square, with oldness in her eyes and face, her hair brown and curled, her body weighted by the harshness of a feminine pantsuit.