“Pa?” said Jackson Cage, his voice uncharacteristically tentative.
“What the Sam Hill are you doin’ in here?” the elder Cage demanded.
“Well, I--” Jackson shook his head. “Lookin’ for you, I guess. Lookin’ for myself.”
“Goddamn, boy, ain’t you ever gonna grow up? How old are you now, twenty-five?”
“Twenty-six,” said Jackson Cage.
“And you’re still tryin’ to find yourself? Ain’t married, ain’t got kids, still ain’t cut your damn hair... you even got a job, Jackie?”
“I’m a bard,” he said. “Play down at the Ramrod.”
“That ain’t a job, that’s a goddamn hobby.”
“Pays my bills.”
“Just ‘cause you ain’t got no responsibilities, that’s all. You’re still a goddamned teenager.”
“Bullshit,” said Jackson. “I got as much right here as you do. I ain’t gonna grind it out in your damn refinery or down the mill for the next twenty years, waiting for a moment that just don’t come. I got dreams.”
“Kid dreams is what you got.” Jackson wasn’t expecting the lunge, and by the time he’d reacted his father had yanked his guitar away and smashed it against the iron fence with the pent-up fury of four decades. “Grow up, Jackie! Walk like a man, or go the hell home!”