His salary doesn’t start to cover his rent, which is taken care of by his father.
Nathan can’t bear to tell her that he’s thrown away his book and all its accompanying notes.
He dreads that one day he will have to inform his mother of a greater truth: that he is not the genius she needed him to be.
When he turned thirteen she gave him the complete works of Nabokov.
Now she sends him links to literary articles and talks about new novels he must read.
He was more naturally drawn to the arts and, after graduating, tried to write a novel.
He kept at it for three years, but after yet another rejection letter, put the manuscript aside. Nathan is currently working in a basic administrative role in an art gallery in a run-down part of the city.
A client of the gallery where he works offers him a new job in his architecture firm.
Nathan accepts that he won’t ever write a novel, and perhaps never even wanted to.
The adult will feel compelled to keep winning, even against the child they ostensibly love: it might be at table tennis or Monopoly, in exam grades or political arguments. But there is a basic sense that there cannot be two winners in the same household and that in the choice, it is the senior party who has to triumph. They didn’t speak all day – and never played again.