Water up to your waist.

For the moment you have both feet to stand on, but very soon this will change. You try to stare me down. Both eyes open only a crack, red rimmed, hot with a hate that I will not defend against and mouth held in a fear so sharp that it's brandishing makes your mother turn to leave the room.

My boy, these are my own eyes and not your mother's. They are the color of tempering Ocoa, only today they are screened with defeat, and unique reflection that I have taken years to aquire. I can tell the difference.

You clench your teeth, your upper lip raised, but now you have squeezed your eyes shut. I am thankful for this, not at the moment, but afterward. I am sure, if you would have eyed me in your desperation, rather than the malice you fostered, I would have called it all off, and slung you over my shoulder, running to the elevator.

The induction of false sleep is not quick as I had hoped. I watch you hold your breath, fists clenched and held at odd angles. You try to punch and kick, but the blows are out of time with the offense presented. Stalled and then faded you are left far behind.

In the mornings I have watched you wake. Your hands extend into air. Those mismatch hands unfurling into the light, legs stretching themselves to arch your feet. I am watching this all in reverse and the motion is odd and wrong.

My hand covered my face from the sunshine coming in from the bank of plate windows behind the surgical group. It is just another skin fold, a shirt over my eyes, all to hide wet prism of salt.

Before they pulled back the cloth which covered instruments necessary to proceed, the nurse knew enough to usher me from the room.

The couch in the waiting room was so terribly soft that I totally lose my emotional footing. I do this in close proximity to your mother, who has very little patience for these displays...by me.

I remember saying, "There was no protecting him from that. I did my job as a father and I failed my job as a father."

After this is over you touched my salt and pepper hair, happy to see me so near, but wonding why I am so tired, and how I have become so slow.