I had conflicting feelings as my son James rushed up the steps of the hospital. He was three hours late. I had seen only pictures of him for the past ten years. He had taken a train and subway to Brooklyn Heights. His teenage body waved like a stalk of corn in a storm as he moved across the hospital lobby toward me.
"Bart?" he asked.
Not Dad, I thought as I nodded, "Yes, James."
Our eyes met. He extended his right hand. I gasped it and put my left arm on his shoulder. We had lost so much time.
"Sorry I'm late, but Fred procrastinated when it was time to drive me to the station."
"I'm not surprised, your step-father used all his legal skills to interfere with our visitation.
The loudspeaker blared. "Dr Bartolino Ferranti, Dr Ferranti."
I picked up the in-house phone "Yes, Bart Ferranti here."
"Doctor, we've got a bad allergic reaction in the microbiology lab."
"Sorry, son," I said, as I put down the receiver. "Got to run. They need me in the lab."
I could almost feel his eyes watching me as I hustled away.
Nurse Ementhal peered at me over the top of her mask as I carded into the isolation room. She was holding a flask of some reagent and her blonde eyebrows were raised in question above her piercing blue eyes.
"Good work," I reassured her. "Same thing if he shows up again. Maybe not an allergic reaction next time -- he might get wise. If that little shit wants to get to know his father, the first thing he's gonna learn is no one keeps me waiting three hours."
Opening: Larry Chiaramonte, M.D......Continuation: Anon.