In what has become his typical arrive-after-dinner-whenever-I-want-to appearance, Mike had just finished eating his bowl of ramen and was watching television when I sat down.
Me: So, you know that tomorrow MB [the FASD documentarian and family friend from CA] is coming, right?
Mike: As in tomorrow, like in the morning?
Me: Tomorrow, yes, but in the afternoon, like after school some time.
Mike: Oh, like after school.
Me: Yes, Mike, after school.
Mike: And he's going to go snowboarding with me, right?
Me: I'm not sure, but I think so. You'll have to ask him about that.
Me: So, any news on my iPod?
Me: I'll be reporting the theft to the police tomorrow. It's been seven days, and I have reminded you several times that you need to take care of this, so tomorrow is the day.
Mike: Well, you haven't given me much time, you know.
Me: Not much time to recover my iPod? You've had six days, Mike, and I don't have my iPod back yet.
Mike: Well, it takes more than six days to come up with $250. [It has been his goal to buy me a new iPod, evidently].
Me: All I want is my iPod back, Mike.
Mike: [In a dazed glimmer of recognition] What are you gonna tell 'em?
Me: I will be telling them the whole series of events, as I have described them to you recently (i.e., that Mike set up the theft by being out of the house when all but our thirteen-year-old daughter was home].
Mike: So, I'll probably be going to jail again?
Me: I don't know, Mike. That's not my call. I'm just going to report the theft that occurred in our home and the circumstances surrounding it.
A vacuous silence ensued. No apologies. No requests to use the telephone to recover the iPod. No eye contact. Nothing. Just the glimmer of the television in the darkened living room shadowing across his media-transfixed glaze.
Today I will report the theft to the authorities. After school I will tell Mike he has until tomorrow night (after his snowboarding expedition) to find a new place to live, or I will be transporting him to the Salvation Army homeless shelter. And we will close yet another chapter in the life of parents who have adopted a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.