After his wife’s death, Wilson called each of his sons once a week to check in—to say, I’m still alive. Don’t forget about me. In early December, his oldest son answered as if they were already in the middle of a conversation: “Look, Dad, I know it’s cruel but what are we supposed to do? Jason’s nineteen. We can’t reward him for refusing to behave like an adult.”
“I’m a little lost here,” Wilson said.
“Sorry, but he’s a fuck up. You guys spoiled him.”
Wilson’s youngest son was a constant source of worry: the boy used drugs of varying addictive and destructive qualities, and, according to his older brothers, had a distastefully immature habit of drinking until he blacked out. Wilson’s oldest son lived in Ohio with a wife and daughter, while his middle son and other daughter-in-law were settled smugly in California. Jason, on the other hand, had recently been fired from his job at a grocery store in Milwaukee where he stocked produce. His older brothers had refused to lend him money, knowing he’d never pay them back.
“Funnily enough,” Wilson said, “I’m in a pickle, too. I was fired. I might need some help.”
To read the rest of this story, please purchase a print copy of Story #4, Spring 2019