His father...the Man had always had a touch of blonde to his hair. It shows up now, in the light Jack’s mother is shining on his father’s face... as he clutches the scrabbling fingers of the younger man in his birth throes.
Soon it is early morning, and the bony young man is standing by the window, touching the one pane that never got fixed; there is a sharp jut of wood there, forming a cross that shades a part of that strange and youthful face. The man adjusts his bowtie, pulling it into meticulous place above his chest. His tweed and shirt and trousers and boots are all in place; it’s time to snap his suspenders and leave.
“Thank you, old friend,” Jack’s mother says, her younger appearance returning with arms full of two little boys in the quiet of the empty room. The young man’s footsteps echo against the dust, then disappear with a mechanical, familiar wheeze, like the air-boom dance of two freighters colliding.
Jack’s father echoes her.
Jack closes his eyes, murmuring to himself, “...oh god. So -that’s- why...”