The boy watches through the keyhole of his bedroom door as his father walks toward the liquor cabinet. The bottle clinks against the whiskey glass as the liquid pours in honey-coloured spades.
The child has witnessed this many times before. His father will remain seated at the dining room table as he takes sip after sip. His voice will begin to slur as he spits out the repressed anger, first mumbling to himself and then speaking to anyone who will listen. He will stand up, drag his feet on the carpet, throw his fists around.
Little Joe will run back to bed and hide under the blankets. The old man’s footsteps will stumble down the corridor; for a moment, his shadow will remain still underneath the painted door frame. Eventually, the round metal doorknob will turn on its axis.
In the living room, his mother will keep on knitting, knitting, knitting.