You come back home, catch the handle and open the door. It turns out that this is not your apartment and you lost memory.
You come back home, catch the handle and open the door. It turns out that this is not your apartment and you lost memory. It will not bother you as you walk around the house to find your things and continue on your way, some place else. Those memories will fade. You will not care.”
My dad looked at me blankly, then looked back at the screen. “What the hell are you trying to say?”
“You told her to watch the door, that she should wait there. That is the mothering instinct talking, Dad. It’s what you want, and it’s what you should have wanted,” Mom said.
“It was different back then.” He looked at me. I looked at him. “You were just trying to protect me.”
“We all were,” Mom said.
“So the next time he comes back to his senses,” Dad said, “don’t ever give him the key.”
“I think it’s safe to say he is gone,” Mom said.
“So let’s get some coffee.” Dad didn’t seem to have anything else to say.
“I am leaving,” I said. “Don’t worry, though, Mom and I can take care of ourselves.”
“Goodbye,” Dad said. I couldn’t tell if he had made up his mind about the keys. I decided it didn’t matter. “See you later, Dad.”
“You too, Brian,” he said.
I sat there for a moment in the warm morning air and wondered how I was going to get my things and find a new apartment. I guessed I would look for one without a spare key. Then I wondered what I would do with the key. I stared at the key for a while. It seemed obvious that I should take the key, but for what? I had no idea. I stood up and walked over to my Dad, who still hadn’t moved. I put my hands on the back of his shoulders and smiled. “Thanks for the advice, Dad. And for looking after Mom.”
He stood up, brushed himself off, and walked over to Mom. “You’re welcome, sweetie,” he said.
The door closed.
From the authors:
Conceived as a piece in a home repair series, A Case Study of Tom Doyle’s Fate draws on a decidedly personal experience. Tom Doyle has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer in his late thirties. His wife and two children are his most important motivation to fight his condition, and his main source of distraction and strength. His successful surgery becomes increasingly unpleasant, however, as the cancer takes root deeper in his body. Though his physical condition is still stable, he begins to experience a sort of mental illness. He no longer feels like Tom, a hard-working plumber. His mind is in turmoil and, not having the strength to communicate with his family or friends, he begins to question his existence. From the troubled story of a family man, A Case Study of Tom Doyle’s Fate casts an unflinching eye upon the subject of depression, which many Americans would rather ignore or misunderstand.
For additional information and to read short excerpts from the book, visit the official website at www.casestudyoftomdoylesfate.com.