He stood there like a fool, banging the big brass knocker. No answer.
He was about to leave. It was in his mind. Get in the car. Back out of the driveway. Never come back. Fuck this.
But she came to the door, stood wordless for a moment before turning her back to him, walked into the living room leaving the door open.
My living room, he thought. Once.
“His birthday was yesterday, Chip,” she said, lighting a cigarette. She sipped coffee but did not offer him a cup. ‘The party was yesterday.”
“I know when my son’s birthday is. And I can see there was a party. This place is a fucking pigsty. “ He pointed at the bottles on the coffee table, the lipstick-smeared martini and wine glasses, the overflowing ashtrays. “Looks like a hell of a kid’s party.”
“So what? A few people came over after.”
“Anyone I know?”
“People make a choice, Chip. Our friends made a choice.” She nodded at the toy he held in his hands, the little truck he’d bought at the gas station. “You couldn’t be bothered to wrap it, I see.”
“Where is he? I want to see him. Give him this.”
“He’s at my mother’s. How about you call ahead next time?”