Shelby's last meeting with his father was on his father's
'turf.' His father insisted on this and Shelby traveled to
Swisshome and they went out for lunch at a family diner. Shelby
wasn't in the best mood from traveling all the way to Swisshome,
a small town most easily accessible by train, and when pressed
he let his father know the one day journey had put him out some,
while his father could have easily visited him as he even
offered to pay for the plane ticket.
father gritted his teeth. "Listen buddy. When you have a kid and
get to be my age you can always request to meet on your turf.
This is the right of the elders. Wise up." Shelby twisted his
face and listened as his father continue to reminisce, addle and
Years later Shelby spoke to his estranged daughter on the phone
asking her to set aside their differences. "Well I thought we
would meet on my turf."
"Your turf? Dad what are you, head of a gang or a crew?"
"No, no, my turf, my home."
"You can come here, there's plenty of room."
"That's nice of you hon, but I believe I have the right to ask
this. Being I am an elder and everything."
"Dad did you join some cult? Honestly I'm afraid to hear your
next sentence, that's how weird you're talking to me right now."
"No hon really, this came down from grandpa. Really, the right
of the elders. It's a bloodright, it came down through the
"But grandpa's been dead—Dad I'll get Sam to write you a
prescription, you need medication. You need help. Jesus it's
I have to be in your life. The decline, the fall—it's so awful.
Oh God, why now? Next week I was going to start Pilates. Why is
it starting now?"