Hank was a realist. He didn’t want to make Marion wary of his attentions. He kept an alert eye on her for signs of drug induced impairment. He’d noticed that she kept to a religious schedule in taking the recommended dosages on her pill bottles. There weren’t any overt personality or function changes. Hank wondered if Ned’s diagnosis was a matter of transference. Everyone knew Ned had his hands full with the antics of his oldest boy.
Ned was always just a little bit off in his delivery. People thought he believed the myth of his own superiority. Hank wasn’t so sure. When he looked at Ned, he saw an uncertain, snot-nosed, little nerd, who was giving it back to all the kids who’d given him a wedgie after gym class. Ned was the pride and joy of a certain segment of the community. He was a wunderkind in high school, skipping grades and testing off the charts. His SAT scores were perfect. He came from a long line of woodsmen, hardworking people, who asked for nothing from anyone. He’d graduated from med school and come back to his home town to practice. He brought his new bride back with him and they started a family.
None of this obscured the fact that his oldest boy was a juvenile delinquent who would have been somewhere on the inside looking out if not for the concerted efforts of family, Ned’s colleagues, and some very expensive lawyers. People had laughed when Travis Lawson, the lead finish carpenter and project supervisor at Foster Shaw, had called Ned after he discovered that Ned’s kid was smoking pot and having sex with his 14 year old daughter, Angie. He left a message on his cell phone- “Whitney, you quack motherfucker, you keep your psychopath kid away from my daughter or I’ll break every bone in your body! It will take a fucking army of quacks to put your puny ass back together again.” The kicker had been that Ned’s kid sent the message from his father’s cell phone to his own and played it for anyone who cared to listen. Travis wasn’t far off; the kid may not be a psychopath but he was a sociopath in progress. Most recently he’d been stopped for speeding by the state cops who’d discovered pot and boxes of baggies in his car. When the troopers questioned him about the paraphernalia, he’d said “I eat a lot of sandwiches.” The kid had brass.
Hank made an appointment to review Marion’s medical records.