writing chapter 13.2
Nathan spent the rest of the evening with his family, under the watchful eyes of Mom, who thought he must be getting sick, and Dad, who was worrying his son might be gay. (is it saturday or friday?) Nathan hid behind his usual responses and thought about the game he was testing.
Only when the news came on and they featured Dragoncon (is there a local 10-11 news?) did he pay attention to what was happening. They were demonizing gaming (insert section here) on the TV, and Dad was trying to turn it into a lecture on why he was right to keep them from going.
Mom and Nathan had already bought their memberships. With the same costumes, not because they learning nothing from being outed by the press last year, but because they never made new ones. Mom with her third job and Nathan with his full days of schoolwork and extracurricular exercises (lifting garbage bags at the food court).
They had an elaborate discovery-proof plan in place for the day – they were visiting colleges. Sis was extra vicious about it because nobody took her around to colleges (because she never showed any interest), but Nathan already had the brochures in an envelope at work, and he planned to go get them very late in their day at Dragoncon (can you preorder 1day badges?)
Like everyone attending the convention, they’d looked forward to it all year, planned activities with their friends and wondered about the panels on their favorite tracks. So it was hard to take Dad’s sitting there making fun of them by proxy, ridiculing them with it. “Got your badge yet, Nuthin? Wonder what this year’s badges look like. What do you think, Nuthin?”
In fact, this year it was a great illustration of a goth girl in a sexy pose, but they wouldn’t have theirs until tomorrow. It only took getting thru this evening.
During the ads, Dad dug at Mom about being away from the house all day. Dad was around all the time, and noticed Mom’s absence – nobody to get his beers and listen to his rants. But with three jobs, she was gone all day every day, and Nathan had to get the dinner most nights. (pharmacy clerk, ?, ?)
Lots of times, Dad would go to bed before Mom got home, and the whole house would be peaceful and quiet, with Dad snoring, Nathan in his room studying, and Sis gone out with some friend or other.
With Dad home all the time, they walked around on eggshells. Dad was really fragile these days. His life was random, with no security, and no regular thing to get up and do every day, no order. He hated that. He wanted certainty, regularity, reliability. Dad was not a dynamic paradoxicalist. He couldn’t take freedom or ambiguity.