Sound carries through the big house; he heard my muttered string of profanities from downstairs. Open office window, open back door. I'm usually smarter than that.
"What's the matter, Dad?"
Where to start? The computer, like that red wheelbarrow upon which so much depends, was on the fritz, not picking up the Internet signal (see: red wheelbarrow). There were posts that needed to be written. My latest contact gig ended with no notice. There were checks that had not yet arrived. There were bills that were overdue. October was drawing to a close, the holidays and the end of another year and the rest of my goddamn life were rolling in like a black tsunami.
I looked at him for a second. That was all it took, all it usually ever takes.
"Nothing's wrong. Go grab your rugby ball. We'll play catch."