A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Goodbyes. Findley Brown returns to the manor. He meets his father in the parlor and discusses where he has been…or tries to. Instead, his father discusses other matters and reaches a final decision which changes Findley’s course.
For those who are new to Omicron Matter, the book home page is a good place to start.
Does a Findley Brown exist somewhere? Probably just because the world is so vast. Parents will dote over their children but that does not usually result in pathological entitlement. However parents do become disappointed in children and, in some cases, decide it is time to stop enabling destructive behavior. I give a little childhood history of Findley to explain his serious entitlement issues in “Jason and John build a water heater”
Brown Manor – Findley
Findley banged on the door. It was very late, or rather it was very early. No matter. Those damn servants should be opening the door anytime they are summoned. Finally, Bertrand Grey opened the door and apologized with a tired tone, “Pardon the wait Mister Brown. Mayor Brown had just sent us off for the night.”
Findley sniffed, “Just like my father…is the old man up?”
Bertrand hesitated for a moment and said, “He’s in the smoking room. He said wasn’t too be disturbed.”
Findley took off his hat and gloves, handed them to the old man and said, “Nonsense, he’ll be seeing me.”
Bertrand said, “Then shall I be announcing you?” the tone saying he would rather do anything but.
Findley said, “I think I shall surprise him. Brush the hat before you put it away, but I’ve no further need of your services.” Findley tossed the coat on the stair bannister. He could hear Bertrand lock the door and sigh as he picked up the coat and headed into the house.
Findley entered the smoking room boldly using both doors. His father had a snifter of cognac and was staring at the fire. At Findley’s entrance to the room his father snapped, “So late. You could have taken along a key and let yourself in without bothering the staff.”
Findley closed the doors and counted to get his temper back just like Smith had taught. Findley headed for the liquor cabinet talking as he walked. “It’s their job. It gives the servants purpose.” He made himself a generous pour of the brandy even though he was still a bit tipsy.
His father said, “You hardly need that much. I can tell that from here. You’ve been drinking all night. Why bother me?”
Findley sat down across a low table from his father and took a sip and said, “I sent a cable saying when I would arrive. Yet you find urgent work at the factory. I am about to leave for months, possibly years and you can’t free yourself for dinner?”
His father remained quiet and took a sip of his own drink. He spoke apropos of nothing, “I supply hardware to a cabinet maker in London.”
Findley sighed. His father supplied many people in London, he supposed there would be some point to this prattle so Findley simply acknowledged the comment and said, “Yes, I know.”
His father looked sideways at him and said, “Got a disturbing note. The cabinet maker returned the remaining money on the contract and even returned the left over stock. He even apologized. I lost a customer and a valuable business opportunity.”
Findley was beginning to understand the rambling. He remained quiet waiting for an opportunity to explain.
His father said, “Damn shame too. They make quality goods and are ramping up volume.” Findley remained mute. His father set his glass down and stared into the fire. “The owner explained why. “ He paused and said, “I would do the same in his position.”
Findley finally said, “Are you going to trust the word of some lower class foreigner over mine?”
There was a silence and then his father said, “I wish I could say I raised you so I would know to trust you. But I am ashamed to admit I can’t. Instead I’ll say I’ve cleaned up after you for years.” His father almost shouted, “Yes, I believe him.” Findley sputtered his protest, but Clarence continued, “Now you’ve cost me business and the respect of a man whose opinion I valued.”
Findley retorted loudly, “You coddle your servants. You worry about the sensibilities of some laborer. Hell…you worry about the good graces of a local Madame.”
His father’s eyes fixed on him as he hissed, “And you don’t. Your mother indulged you and let you believe the world revolved around you. I might have been able to correct that earlier and I didn’t. I regret that. I would apologize if I could.”
Findley sneered, “Apologize? You needn’t apologize to me.”
His father leaned back and said in a tired voice, “It wouldn’t be to you I apologized.” His father finished his drink and stood up. He looked at Findley and said, “I am through cleaning up your messes. I am finished with you sullying my name. I’ve talked to the barrister. You will get nothing when I die. I will be leaving the money to fund scholarships for indigents and working children to the University.”
Findley finally sputtered, “You…you can’t do that…you… you old fool. I am about to do something beyond your imagination. And now you get squeamish over some working class doxie?”
His father headed to the door and said, “I don’t care what you are about to do. I might have once, but no longer.”
Findley winced at the words.
His father continued, “I have nothing more to say to you other than leave here in the morning. Take your things and leave. You crossed a line, Findley, and I wash my hands of you.” He set the glass on the liquor cabinet and stared at it for moment. There was a sadness in his eyes as if he were seeing it for the last time. Without facing Findley he said, “Do not disturb the staff further. Find your own way to bed,” and he left the room.
The words struck like a blow to the stomach. Findley stared at the fire and soon found his face was wet. He heard the heavy steps as his father retreated to his bedroom. Findley shouted a guttural “No!” and threw his glass into the fire. No one came in the room. He gave another guttural “Noooo” and overthrew the sitting table in a crash. No one came as he broke vases and furniture shouting. And no one came when he finally sat amidst the wreckage, sobbing.