Words about my father
So what do I know?
I have a vague memory of deep set eyes and heavy eyebrows. A slender frame with hairy arms. I may have imagined it.
There were some photos now long destroyed that I remember seeing years and years ago – maybe this is where the memory comes from. I have never seen a photo of us together.
I know you gambled and stole money. I know you drank heavily.
I know you promised me a remote control car on the embankment at the Valley Gardens. I was probably four or five years old. I know you lied.
I know I never saw you again.
I know you were the youngest of thirteen. I heard your upbringing was hard. I heard you loved my mother. I heard you treated her like shit. I know I was your only child.
Rumour has it you spoke about me sometimes. I doubt the rumour was true.
You died an old man a few years ago. You choked on your own vomit in the bath with a bottle of whiskey. It didn’t shock me. It didn’t upset me.
I didn’t find out until after you were cremated. Months later I came into possession of what you left behind.
A broken watch and a handful of blurred photos. Maybe this was all that was left after the vultures had cleaned your bones. I know you left debts.
“God knows what I’m doing now” is written on the back of one of the photographs. God knows you were wanking to the porn that can be seen on your television set.
God knows you owed me a hell of a lot of pocket money.
I don’t know enough to hate you. You were less than a stranger to me.
So to quote Leonard Cohen; “that’s all, I don’t think of you that often”.