Hey Daddy Cool,
YOU SURVIVED THE NIGHT!!!
You’re in a coma, all wired up in intensive care. Your heart is working on its own but you’re breathing artificially through a ventilator. Your blood pressure is low but they’re giving you meds for that. Over the next few days the doctors will attempt to wean you off the ventilator ever so slowly to see if you can breathe on your own again. This is unlikely, of course, since you can’t breathe properly on a good day, what with having only a little bit of lung left, emphysema, COPD. If this is you trying to scare me into quitting smoking, it’s working.
They messed up your hair. You always have perfect hair so you don’t look like you when it’s all over the place. Last night I stood up and tried to smooth your hair out in a feeble attempt to make you look more like you. As I did this your heart rate shot up from 98 to 160, all the machines were flashing and beeping, I thought I’d killed you, I was screaming for the nurses. They said to me, it’s fine, don’t worry. I said to you, Fucking hell Dad, don’t do that again!! I could hear you laughing in your head, in my head.
Last night I was given your belongings. Keys, wallet, glasses, bus pass, phone, watch. Clothes, shoes, walking stick. I put your watch on immediately and took the rest home. I slept with the watch on my arm, with the illogical reasoning that I’m not taking it off til you ask for it back, that if I keep it on then everything will be okay. I didn’t sleep much. This morning I looked at the watch. It had stopped at 03:21. Naturally, I freaked out. I immediately knew it was you trying to talk to me. Over the years we’ve synchronised our lives and thoughts so that we are always in tune. I can’t count how many times I’ve thought, “I’ll call Dad in a minute,” only to pick up my phone and have an incoming call from you. But 03:21. Really, Dad? I thought you’d died. Now I know you’re just winding me up from your unconscious mind, you’re just messing with me, fucking me up with your psychic voodoo witchcraft because it will make a great story to tell in the pub, a great story to blog about. Well, as always, you were right. (I’ll let you read these posts when you wake up).
Dad, I know you read my blog on Thursday, the day before this all happened. Please don’t think my brokenness and pain is your fault, or feel like you’ve failed to stop me from hurting or that you haven’t protected me enough. There’s nothing anyone can do for me apart from myself: I just have to keep fighting. And so do you. I learned from the best. We are stubborn, passionate, determined fire signs. Keep fighting Dad, please. I will too. And if you ever run out of fight, I’ll give you some of mine, I don’t mind.
I’m listening to Blood On The Tracks and eating jaffa cakes. (That auto corrected to Kafka cakes, in keeping with the central existential debate over whether jaffa cakes are cakes or biscuits!) I’m going to your flat in a minute to hide the ashtrays, lighters, booze, etc. lest mother sees and gets angry. Then I’m going to sit with you and we can listen to the FA Cup final on the radio together. Maria is going to visit in the evening and I’ll give her the keys so she can collect your car from the other hospital. And she’s going to phone Pappy because I can’t do it. I’m writing this all down so you know what’s going to happen.
I am jealous of your morphine dreams – you can tell me all about them when you wake up. Rest up, Pops, this is gonna be a long old fight. 03:21. 3. 2. 1. FIGHT!
I love you Padre. I’ll be with you dreckly. 💜