What’s new pussycat? Whoa whoa whoa oh oh…
It looked like he’d stepped into an eighteenth century plantation, except for the cotton-pickin’ slaves. There did seem to be a big Black overseer type who Mankles called Ben Warren and the guy seemed to be running everything and everywhere. Dude appeared to be the family’s Jack of all trades. Jackson was also introduced to the light-skinned Black housekeeper who looked remarkably like…nah it couldn’t be. She was Margaret Webbery and a more poker-face he’d yet to come across. The family appeared cool and Ben and Margaret were their employees, treated as important members of their household.
Mankles surprised him. Her manner as an indicator, he didn’t think she came from intelligent stock. And yet her father was Dr. Derek Shepherd, retired Neurologist and her mother Dr. Meredith Grey, practicing Psychiatrist. Apparently Bainbridge Island’s population were just as messed up as anywhere else in America. The prodigal son, Alex, who for some reason held the title of Alex Karev, he met just before dinner. The bloke was still in Medical School but looked totally spaced out. High on Opiates or zonked out on Pharmaceuticals, he couldn’t be sure. Drug addict brother seemed just as out of place in that family as the sister. Perhaps they were adopted children. The name difference made sense now. Who wouldn’t want to hide any kinship with that? He was surprised that the guy didn’t permanently reside in the basement – outa sight, outa mind.
Derek insisted on giving him the tour. “Oh you’re gonna love this,” he said pointing to a photo of a pasty white man in running shorts.
What was there to admire, he wondered. And why would he love a lanky, ashen skinned, knobby-kneed white boi? Did Shepherd think he was gay? And desperate?
“My dad’s claim to fame,” he continued, explaining the pride of place the photo had. “He was beat by Jesse Williams in the qualifying round of the Berlin Olympics in 1936, where…”
“Wait, wait…Jesse Williams, that pretty-boy model turned mediocre actor? I didn’t know he was an athlete. Holding his age huh? Maybe developing a slight paunch,” he snorted. “He doesn’t look a day over fabulous though.” Okay he heard it that time. He understood why Shepherd was showing him pictures of fellas. He sounded like he had a crush on JW. This seemed to be hinting at dangerous levels of narcissism. A grandiose ego. An extreme, inflated sense of vanity.
“What are you talking about? Who is Jesse Williams? And why are we discussing him?”
“That doctor actor…actor doctor…and you brought him up.”
“You must have misheard. I said Jesse Owens. Owens. O-wen-ens. He beat my father during the 1936 Berlin Olympics qualifier where Owens won in front of Hitler. I doubt your Jesse Williams could do that?”
“He’s not my anything…you know what, forget it.”
Shepherd laughed. “Relax, I’m just messin’ with you. You do kinda look a bit like him. If you squint or scrunch your eyes just so,” he proceeded to demonstrate. Further shocking Jackson by placing his hands on Jackson’s face and examining it as one would expect a brood-mare was inspected, down to the teeth. “Hopefully you’re a better doctor than he is an actor.”
Now that gropeage wasn’t creepily inappropriate at all. Bordering on homoerotic. Perhaps getting out of dodge hadn’t been his wisest course of action. Looks like he’d leapt from the frying pan into the fire. His instinct for self-preservation was on full alert and he really needed to tread with care…it seemed that the inmates had taken over this asylum.