"You're too old." Luke leaked a small burp and took his hand to wipe the sound from his lips.
Mark swiveled on the bar stool and looked at him. "What?"
"Tell her no."
"Why?" Mark's ire was raised. He put both arms on the bar. His fingers formed fists; his fists touched. He leaned over his fists and turned his head to face his friend.
Luke leaned back and crossed his arms. "One, you're too old. Think how old you'll be when the kid graduates from high school. Two, a baby weighs too much to carry around with your foot. Right? You going to teach a kid stuff from a wheelchair? And you're always telling me how your body is fucked. You're not healthy enough for a kid. Bottom line, you're too old. Tell her no."
"Fuck you!" Mark lifted his arms and rubbed his palms over his face with a rapidity that created friction.
"Get as angry as you want." Luke picked up his beer. "I'm right. You're too old. Having a baby at your age is mean to the kid. It's completely selfish." He sipped his beer.
"A lot of men have kids at my age!" Mark motioned for Meg to bring him another beer.
"Doesn't make it right." Luke reached for a Cajun fry and consumed it like he would a carrot: short staccatoed bites. "And hey, how about the fact you aren't even in a committed relationship? Fuck Mark, it's not even stable."
Mark lowered and steeled his voice. "Brady would be a good mother. She would. Don't go there."
"I don't care whether she would be or not. I'm saying you're the one who shouldn't be a dad. This has nothing to do with her."
"What exactly are you saying?" Mark was more than angry. He was livid. He felt hurt.
"I'm saying in the time I've known you, you haven't maintained a single relationship with a woman. You're a player. Hell, if a woman even parts her legs to put on her socks, you're between them."
"I've gotta get out of here. I've got to get away from your face." Mark stood up and pulled his wallet from his pocket.
"Whatever. I'm still right." Luke chewed another fry. Mark cast cash on the bar and left.