After my mother died it was over between us, we rarely spoke to one another in that house owned by death, and when we did speak it was in the language of wolves, a snarl and a curse, a brief flash of fang in passing. But one night just before I left for good it all came to its inevitable clash. Drunk as always he swung at me as always, but things had changed for me. I didn’t take it as always. I blocked it with one arm easily, grabbed him by the throat, bent him over the dining-room table, drew back ready to pay off on all the beatings, the cruel mindless drunken rages, the humiliations of my mother and sister, all of it boiling in my fist but then I saw him, old and cowering, mad and far gone, lost in the forest like me, weak and hopeless. I dropped it right there and walked away, never looked back again. You may long for it, dream of it, pray for the day that it comes, but it is never any good when you beat your old man.