I had wanted to knock like a friend, with a take-it or leave-it nonchalance, but of course I knocked like a mother, my fist swaddled in thick concern. Seconds ticked by and there was no answer. I imagined him sitting at his laptop, staring dumbly at that screen, the blue light flickering in his eyes. And there I was, in an all too familiar position, crouched outside his door. After fifteen years it had become my Mother Stance, just a mother on the landing, another mother in the hall.