After my cardiologist appointment, Ant’s [biological] father offered to take me out shopping for picture frames. It was fortuitous timing, when he offered we were actually in the same block. We picked up decent frames at ROSS… So now that painting of the Brooklyn Bridge is up by Ansel’s desk (how he misses NYC!) and the kitchen has a painting of the Tuscan earth. (I don’t think the neighbours appreciate me. I’ve been hammering away all day!)
That man, Ant’s biological father—he was destined to be an engineer! Were it not for the constraints of money—and his own mother—he would have been. He showed me the modifications he made to his van. Created and installed a sliding rail for the mounted solar panel atop, with a wind deflector to both prevent the panel from being lifted and to conceal wiring. A large battery pack that is charged by both the solar panel and the car’s own movements. A refrigerator and a mounted microwave in the back that can both be kept on for two days straight on a full battery charge! A variety of meters and remote controls. A camera on the passenger’s side mirror connected to a monitor he installed above the satnav that gives him unparalleled peripheral vision and perfect view of what’s behind the vehicle. He can’t turn his neck much anymore, the nerve pain has worsened—that additional view has become a necessity for him to drive safely.
And everything is seamless! He’d worked out all the wiring himself (complained on the “jankiness” of the setups he’d seen online and YouTube) and everything is concealed, and he’d designed and built all the parts that didn’t exist (stand for the microwave et cetera). He impressed Bedi. “Did you document any of this?” “No.” That was one of the few times I’ve ever seen Bedivere upset…!
He eyed that van as if he wanted to steal it. Or at least kidnap Ant’s biological father and interrogate him over the course of a long week to understand and record exactly everything that he did.
I also didn’t like the way he eyed the welding masks at the hardware store. He’s lazy, but when he’s not… If I were a woman and a man looked at me the same way he looked at those masks, I’d be very flattered and extremely frightened. And if I were Ant I’d be scaroused… Or just aroused. Ah.
He [Ant’s biodad] really enjoyed speaking to me and showing me all that he did with the van. He even bought me Vietnamese food. I think… I think he’s quite lonely, to be honest. I don’t think he has a lot of friends to talk about these things or tinker with. He mostly works to make ends meet, and has very little free time outside… If he and Bedi could hang out, I think they would both get something out of it.
Today I saw Ant in her biological father. The eagerness to do “neat things” “the best way possible” and then just talk about the process and show it off. Hmph. They should have been close parent-and-child, but… I wonder if she loves him, or even thinks of him at all. (I know the answer, but I pretend not to.) He barely knows anything about his daughter, and it’s been like that since the beginning. He still doesn’t know about her real father, or the reason why she tried to commit suicide, and I think it will be like that to the very end…
He bought me lunch and he has no idea about anything of his own daughter or her grief. I’ve “translated” Australian for him and he doesn’t know any of the books she likes. Sometimes, I don’t think he’s even met her…