But not yet. First, he gets the Barrish treatment. Frigid, terrifying: A cage of ice that simply and elegantly says, I just might not love you anymore.
"Get out of here," he says. "We'll discuss my investment," Doug says, "When you're sober." I can make our parents hate you with a single word, any time you want. We'll discuss that secret when you've come down enough to hurt.
Bud: "Boys! Hey! Told ya he was fine."
Doug: "Sure, yeah. He's great. And you didn't screw Jubal's wife..."
Bud, cheaply: "How many times do I have to say it? I did not touch that woman!"
Doug: "That's your genius. It's not a lie if you believe it. Well, if you want to convince yourself that you're not a cheater, Mom can upset Garcetti, T.J.'s just fine, well you go right ahead."
Bud chastens his son -- "you don't have any faith in people" -- just long enough to catch the look in Doug's eyes. It stings worse than his response: "I don't need to take character advice from you." It was always going to come. It comes. Not the whole truth, not the whole future, but it comes and when it comes quick. And you'd better be clean.
Bud: "What's this really about, son? Now what's your beef with me? Come on, spit it out."
"It's not my fault! It is not my fault that she lost! I did everything! I wanted her to win so bad! I did everything I could! You! You lost it for her, not me!"
Every word and the weight on his back gets louder and brighter and lighter. And the entire time, son's fists against his chest, he takes it. Blame me. But this time, he's not whispering and it's not in code. "I know that, son," he says. "It was my fault," Bud says, "And your mother knows that too."
It's not that you want to carry your children on your back, exactly. It's just that there are times when you want to hold them so tightly that they couldn't hurt themselves if they wanted to.
SUSAN TRIES TO BE LOIS LANE
Much of her day, but it rarely works because the next thing is always coming. Like right now, she's pulling on her panties in the house where she used to live, tossing off wisecracks, making Alex feel shitty in the precise way he adores and he keeps sliding off into this vague sort of yearning man-sadness that could make you puke for days. If you're going to punish us for shitting where we eat, then why do you keep fucking us? If you don't want your toys broken then why do you keep breaking them?