Tag Archives: Alcohol

Always was a Miserable Bastard

21 Nov

From the age that I first started walking and talking, I always knew my dad as a poet, painter and writer. And an alcoholic. Well, they do tend to go hand in hand, don’t they?

In 2009 my dad decided he’d had enough of this life and so took himself off to the local train station, waited for the fast one to come flying along the tracks, and let it take him into whatever comes after we leave this existence.

*By the way, it’s taken me a long time to feel even moderately comfortable talking (or writing) about that particular period in mine and my sisters’ lives. Which is why I won’t have written about it before, and almost certainly never will again.

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Plenty of Water in the Tap

20 Nov

The two children were sat with their legs curled up on the settee, watching Fun House. Their wet school bags and shoes sat on the mat just inside the back door. They were hungry. The kitchen cupboards were empty but for a tin of beans, and the only thing the fridge housed was a bit of margarine. Mum was working her part-time evening job, cleaning at the hospital, and wouldn’t be home until late; dad was due in the door any minute. Tom and his sister were home alone for the couple of hours after school every afternoon of the week, as they waited for dad to come in from work with dinner.

They each got up to greet their father as they listened to him close the  front door and shimmy past the excited dog in the hallway.

“In you go, boy. Get down.”

The blue carrier bag was placed down on the table; rain drops running down its plastic and depositing on the wood. Tom didn’t need to open it fully, he just pulled the two handles apart and saw that the only thing his dad had picked up on his way home had been four cans of super strength lager and a couple of dirty old potatoes.

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30 Sep

“What’s different about this one? What’s different? Look at my eyes. Look! You see? That. That is what’s different.”

Frank looked across the room, stone-faced, into his sister’s eyes, as she sat curled up on the armchair, glass of red wine in her hand.

“Ah, what’s different is that you’re pissed? Okay, I think I understand now. Thanks for making things so clear.”

Frank allowed himself a smile. But he didn’t break eye contact with his sister. He wanted her to see the thing that he was talking about. He knew she was humouring him and entertaining herself at the same time, and in a way this pleased him, but he still hoped to make her see. This was how these two siblings, less than two years between them, had always communicated. One would be serious, the other would mock. It worked. They were as different as they were close. And they were close.

“What’s different about this one is that I’m telling you about her,” Frank said.

“Why don’t you quit?”

She was referring to her brother rolling a cigarette.

“Because the ones who get cancer are always the ones who don’t deserve it. I deserve it. But don’t especially want it. So I smoke. A lot.”

“You’ve never been normal.”

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19 Sep

Frank was never happier, nor was he ever more sad,
Than when he was sat alone in his flat with a book on his lap, or a pen in his hand.
Happy because he didn’t have to please anyone,
Sad because he had no one to please.
No one was good enough for Frank,
Nor was Frank good enough for anyone.

Women liked Frank,
They always had.
Frank never could understand this, but wasn’t one to question such things.

Frank was repulsed by women who thought themselves too beautiful,
The ones who couldn’t walk past a mirror without stopping.
He hid from them.
He hated how they thought they were better than others,
How they thought they had more rights.
‘Why does she think she has more of a right to disturb me than her?’
He would ask himself, bitterly. Continue reading

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