I was in his town recently and emotionally blackmailed to see him.
They all said,“it would be good for you to go”.
As the dutiful son I am, I went. What the damn for I did’nt know.
Immediately I procrastrinated.
I refilled the car, visited two ex wives and attended an afternoon tea at his sister’s house. She being an older sister and hating him as much as me.
At least we had that in common.
I knew dinner was at six for him. I knew he would love that regimented existence with everybody at beck and call. He could abuse them at will and they would only coo coo and tell him he was a naughty boy. He would love that.
I decided to call at six fifteen. I knew that would piss him off. He disliked being interrupted when eating.
’Petty prick", I considered.
The sun boiled into the ground and left a viscous glow across the dunes. I knew it was to be a scorcher tomorrow and winced at the thought of no airconditioner in the car.
" It is as if he knew, the bastard," I winced," He is still winning".
A repeated push on the door bell brought an overweight flushed attendant. She had a tea towel in her left hand and a biro in her right. Immediately she asked for ID and ushered me into the air space. Luckily I had my licence on me and produced the same.
“Go right in”, she offered.
I stepped past her into a world of bodily fluids, pineoclean and wandering souls. I shuddered and shuffled on.
He sat at a corner table with one poor old soul. She appeared to be asleep with a fork still in her right hand. Her head back and snoring quietly. The staff swished around the tables clucking dutifully whilst pulling away plates and offering platitudes. I approached from the side out of his vision. I studied him closely, blanching at the wild attempts at getting the roast beef in his mouth. More out than in Im afraid. I knew that would piss him off. He always loved his roast.
“Hi Dad, its me Michael”, I offered optimistically. He glared at me.
“Who the fuck are you?”, he uttered.
“Your eldest son”, I murmured.
“So?”, he slid out.
“I am in town today and I thought I would see you”.
“You put me here did’nt you”, he spat.
“Yes Dad, Mum could not care for you anymore. She would have had a breakdown looking after you. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made in families”.
He glared at me over the beef laden fork.
His grip on the knife shifted place and he spun the handle into an over hand grip.
I sat back in the chair and was poised for a backward lunge.
“What the fuck would you know anyway”, he growled.
“Would you like me to go? ", I offered.
His silence spoke volumes.
I caught the attendants eye and pointed to the locked door. She swished past and plonked the six digit code in the door jamb.
“Just normal security you know. They tend to wander”.
I burst into the hot summer evening, torn again between duty, self deprecation and a sorrow that tore at my heart.
“Fucken old prick can still do it to me”, I mused.
“Im still just a wool classer’s son, regardless”.
Fathers and sons, always an interesting mix.
Regardless what happens, blood is always thicker than water.