Not the beam of the overhead fluorescent lighting, nor the smell of burnt charcoal-flamed burgers, not even the static conversation of others in the booths around us was going to ground me, give me the comfort I needed. Nope, regardless of how I approached it, this wasn’t going to be easy.

I eased into the conversation with all the subtlety of a slammed door. “So, Dad, what the hell’s up with mom?” I wasn’t known for my subtlety.