A Waking Nightmare, Part 1
Posted on Sat May 30th, 2015 @ 5:17pm by Unawakened Devon Spencer
Location: Seaford, Virginia
Timeline: Monday, March 29, 2010
Tags: Devon, Dev, Deo, Andy, Spencer
Previous: Fathers and Sons of Anarchy
All that I feel is the realness I'm faking
Taking my time, but it's time that I'm wasting
Always turn the car around
How many times can I break till I shatter?
Over the line can't define what I'm after
I always turn the car around
Don't wanna turn that car around
I gotta turn this thing around
-- “Shattered” by O.A.R.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.
-- Lewis B. Smedes
The late afternoon sun hung at just the right point in the sky to make driving miserable. Devon Spencer drew down the visor to shield his eyes from the painful brightness but it seemed as if the manufacturers cut the visor exactly short enough that an inch of light peeked underneath and drove the Greek boy nuts. Not for the first time Devon cursed forgetting to buy one of those shade extenders for his car but as in every case before, he turned north and quickly turned his thoughts to other things.
The drive to Uncle Andy’s house was short. Once, long ago, Devon looked forward to going over to his uncle’s house every summer. They lived on the water and owned a big boat moored off a private pier. Little Devon used to enjoy jumping off the pier into the water, splashing around with his older cousins.
Uncle Andy was not a blood relation. He and Dad were best friends from before going into the Army. They served through Vietnam together and after coming home, Andy put himself through law school. He married, had a big family, and became a very successful criminal trial attorney. He did work for Greg’s family over the years and Devon remembered a time when he adored Uncle Andy. Sadly, Andy served as Dad’s attorney after the fight in January and that placed him and Deo squarely on opposite sides in the courtroom.
It was Uncle Andy that approached Mama about family counseling and now, after that disaster, Uncle Andy left a message with Fred, Devon’s lawyer. He wanted a private meeting. Fred advised against it, but after Devon made it clear he wanted to hear what Andy had to say, Fred nodded, understanding, and closed with, “I know you consider Andy to be family but don’t sign anything, do agree to anything, until after I’ve had a chance to look it over.” Devon readily agreed. Now he wondered what his uncle wanted.
It was easy to say that last weekend’s family therapy session did not go well. Papa struck at Arista, his daughter and might have seriously hurt her if not for Devon. Clearly Papa only made things worse. The only good thing to come from that day was Clint. Devon and his elder brother talked plainly for the first time and hashed out some of their painful differences. One evening could not undo the damage of a lifetime of pain, and bitterness but Devon felt hopeful that he and Clint might work things out. As good as all that was the one who needed the session to succeed most did the most to ruin it.
Uncle Andy’s house looked modest from a distance. A two story home on a single acre of riverside property. It was easily a million dollars on the open market. Devon felt a bit underprivileged parking out front in a two-year-old Honda Fit.. He climbed out, it felt good to stretch his legs. Uncle Andy emerged from the house dressed in a gray and red polo shirt with black stripes, blue jeans, and dockers. He was heavy set, his hair receded decades ago, but it and his mustache remained black. His face brightened with a sincere smile on seeing Devon. He offered a hand, “Hey, Kiddo, how the hell are you? Have you been working out?”
“Hi, Uncle Andy,” the young artist took the proffered hand. He smiled awkwardly, “I’ve been better.” He took in his surroundings, noting something was missing. “Where are Aunt Peg and the monsters? I was looking to get clobbered and licked to death.”
“Heh, I asked your aunt to take them into town to get them dipped and trimmed. The weather is starting to warm up. It’s bad for retrievers to go with long hair in the summer. Come on, let’s go inside.” He led them through the side door, through the family room and into the office. There, Andy closed the door and stepped behind a wet bar. “Something tells me we can both use a drink. As I remember you’re a vodka man,”
“When I can get it,” Devon smiled at the offer.
Andy handed over a glass and leaned against his oak desk, taking a long sip from his bourbon. He sat the glass down, “I’ll get to the point. As your father’s legal counsel, I’m obligated to act on his behalf. I’m not just a lawyer, today, though. I’m also a best friend and an uncle. I won’t lie to you, kiddo. This whole situation sucks balls and your father just made it worse.”
Devon sipped carefully, wondering at the turn in their conversation. “Here I thought you were going to appeal to my better nature.”
“Fuck that,” Andy shook his head. “I’ve been cleaning up Greg’s messes for years. I’ve seen the evidence and before that, I saw how he treated Amy. I saw how he treated you kids. I’ve been trying to get help for him, but I can’t force him.”
“You’re talking about what happened at family counseling,” Devon asked.
“That, and before,” he nodded ruefully. “Me and your mom have been trying to get him into therapy for 40 years but without his consent, the only recourse is to wait for him to break the law. By then it’s too late. Our court system isn’t set up to handle these kinds of cases. It takes a lot of cooperation on all sides to get help.”
“Is that why I’m here? You need my cooperation to help Dad?” Devon sat his glass down with a note of finality. He looked the other man in the eye, “Uncle Andy, my father doesn’t want any help. He doesn’t see where he has done anything wrong. He won’t listen.” He added, bitterly, “He nearly broke my neck. He backhanded Mama, and god knows what might have happened to Arista last Saturday had he hit her! I agreed to family counseling to give him a chance to prove he really wanted things to get better. He blew it, and this point I’m inclined to let them lock him up and throw away the key. This has got to stop!”
Andy listened, quietly accepting Devon’s words. “It might come to that, kiddo. In fact, it’ll take a miracle to keep Greg out of jail. I’m trying to get his sentence changed to mandatory treatment but I’ll be honest, given his behavior I can’t see how any judge is gonna go for it.”
To be continued