Ever since I got on as shift manager at the Indian Casino, I figured he'd come in eventually. So, there's this geezer at the blackjack table who's losing big. He looks awful, like he's a hundred and sixty years old. He's got my nose and forehead or should I say that I have his? We stare at one another a second time.
"Abraham, it's me, Ishmael, remember? I'm your other son."
"Ishmael, I figured I might run into you in a place like this. You were always wild."
"Well, that happens when you get booted out at fourteen."
"It wasn't my idea, son. Sarah's fertility drugs were making her do crazy shit."
"So you give my mother and me just enough money to leave town? That way her baby, Isaac, just happens to get everything."
"How is your mom?"
"Hagar died a couple years ago. A phone call might have been nice."
"Broken hearts and no child support have a way of doing that."
He pushes an empty shot glass towards me.
"Would you buy your dad another round for old time's sake?"
He used to take me to Canaan, put an arm around me, point and say, "Son, someday this'll all be yours."
Maybe he never heard how I almost died from dehydration after they cast us out. I signal a cocktail waitress and the old man grabs her ass. She dumps the scotch on his rocks and walks off.
"Damn, I was going to toast Hagar's memory. She was one fine piece."
"Mom was Sarah's housekeeper Dad. You do remember Schwarzeneggering her?"
"It was Sarah's idea. She knew how much I wanted a son. Could I get another drink?"
"I kind of believe him." Sarah got jealous. "That's why Mom and I got kicked out instead of him."
"If I comp you a round, would you answer a question?"
"Sure, if you make it a double."
"How is it that you do all this shit and everyone remembers you as this great guy? You even tried to kill my brother Isaac. I mean talk about your late term abortions!"
"Because God speaks to me, Son, and I listen."
"At the trial you said it was LSD-laced Twinkies."
"That was Sarah's lawyer's idea."
"And God told you to marry your own half-sister and pretend she wasn't your wife so Pharaoh would try to date her? He bought her half of Ur and treated you like a brother."
"Well I was Sarah's brother."
"Okay, that's disgusting. You were frigging grifters."
"Do you think you'd have had new Nikes every basketball season without the settlement Pharaoh paid us?"
"I wanted a dad, not some Jerry Springer Reunion Show." Abraham looks at me with those Dead Sea eyes. I wonder if he's ever felt anything for anyone.
"You know Sarah died too, never recovered from the trial." He's silent for a minute, but I don't react. His words come out slow and clear, "I loved them both. I wanted to see your mother again. I wanted her to know." He downs his drink and heads for the door.
"Say 'hey' to Isaac for me," I call after him. I'm glad he doesn't turn around. I swore that bastard would never see me cry.
Marko Fong lives in Northern California and published most recently in Kweli Journal, Pif, RKVRY, Mosaic, and Solstice Quarterly. He is a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants and believes that the Mayans were wrong and that history already ended in October 2010.