Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ted McCaulay, M.D. It's recently come to my attention that John and his extended family have a largish mailing list to whom they send a monthly update on their comings and goings and I think it's about time that I added my voice to the conversation; you've heard a lot of uncomplimentary things from them about me and, well, it would foolish to deny them. It's only been a few months since I had the courage to reveal why I really did all that. Why I really hid in the closet for so long is, well, to protect my mother; it would have broken her heart clean in two to know I wasn't her idea of a man. Ah, well; it's water under the bridge now. All that's left is to apologize to all the women I'd strung along in my quest for the perfect sham wife. The toughest nut to crack is, as you might have guessed, is Connie Poirier; she's clearly still angry that our paths intersected the way they did. Too bad it takes two to tango, though; she's as guilty as I am for that mess, what with trying to reinvent herself. Who needs two frauds, right?
Speaking of things not being as clear-cut as they seem, it kind of bothers me that Phil Richards, of all people, is the go-to guy for dealing with poor old Elly; from what John said over our daily lunches, he appears to have been the favored child, allowed to get what he wanted when he wanted it while his older sister was held down because of her gender. Or, at least, that's what Elly thought. I asked him about it when he and John were trying to find a suitable halfway house for when she's better; it took a little prodding to get him to talk about it and he blamed the whole thing on his mother. It seems to him that she had rather strong opinions about what girls and boys should be allowed to do and their dad was too cowed by her to really do anything to stop her. Whatever the problem, Old Lady Richards seems to have shot her down with "Proper little girls don't blah-blah-blah...." while Chinzilla swallowed his pride and said "Mind your mother" to save his ass. (If this sounds like John's home life, it pretty much should.) It took for Elly to get pregnant in high school and the realization that she'd turned into the mother she feared to get her to realize that she'd messed up but the damage was done. Phil's wanting a broken woman to let go of a past that still haunted her is almost as revolting as the stuff I did to protect a useless secret.
Sure, he knows better now but that really doesn't help Elly much; he's thus in the same boat as John. My friend with the train fetish might think he's doing the right thing by isolating himself from his victims but I'm not so sure about that. It's not enough to simply emerge from the mists and slay dragons; he has to be part of a community to really redeem himself. To that end, Both I and Michael's friend Tracey have extended him an invitation to share Christmas dinner. He's still mulling over his choice but at least he won't be alone; no one, not even him, deserves that.
That being said, you and I will have to part company; the at-risk patients for H1N1 cannot be kept waiting so I can talk about domestic failures as bad as my own.
Until (or if) we meet again,