Alternative title: whisky and pixies.
I miss you.
I’m at your flat. I feel better here, with all your things around me. It’s like normal. I’m drinking your Southern Comfort. It’s Father’s Day soon and you’ll inevitably get 3 large bottles from each of us kids so you won’t even notice if I finish this bottle. Or maybe you will. Actually, of course you will. I’m sorry Dad, I’m just so tired and can’t sleep. I followed the German cup final. It went to penalties and Bayern won. PSG beat Marseille in the final of the French cup. I immediately went to text you about Munich v Dortmund penalties but then I remembered that I have your phone. I’ve turned the Italian final off. I’m listening to one of our all-time favourite albums, Sailing to Philadelphia. I had Sixto Rodriguez on earlier and JJ Cale is next.
Mother is making all of this a thousand times more difficult. I am reluctant to say any more right now but you know what I mean anyway. Maria came to visit and I was so glad to see her, like finally I’ve shared a rib-crushing hug and genuine tears with a family member. I’m trying to hold it together. I need my brother but Tim will be here when he can. We’re all joking about all the things you’re probably desperate to say, like saying to Maria, “When are you coming down to collect this three-tier steamer, it’s been sitting by the door waiting for you to collect it since fucking November!!!!” And all the glaring hospital lights: “Why is it all lit up like fairyland? It’s like the Blackpool bloody Illuminations in here!”
Maria left the hospital in an ice cream truck. I’m not even joking. A friend of hers (a big, tattooed bloke) picked her up in an ice cream van to take her to the other hospital so she could collect your car. She found it, no problems, and drove a manual car for the first time in her life.
You squeezed my hand a lot today. I’m hoping that was voluntary and not just a neurological twitch. I’m still finding this all hard to process, the details, the medical terms, like. Also finding it hard to process the fact that our conversations are only going one way. I keep forgetting you can’t reply, that you can’t answer my questions, that you can’t laugh at my jokes, that you can’t tell me what hurts and what would make this all better. I swear to Buddha I will never touch another drop of alcohol if it means I could hear your voice again.
I love you. Everyone loves you. So fucking much. I miss you incredibly. I don’t think I’ve ever gone 40 hours without talking to you. I want to tell you about the disastrous pre-match fiasco at Wembley. The girl singing the anthem missed her cue, poor bird. Even more so I am determined in my quest to campaign for Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now by The Smiths to replace God Save The Queen as our national anthem.
Hang on, I was the one who wanted to sleep for days, I didn’t want you to do it for me!! Keep going, Dad. We’ve got lots to do. I shall see you in the morn. You have your morphine dreams, I’ll have my quetiapine dreams and we shall confer at a later date. Whenever you want. Whenever you’re free. We always deconstruct each other’s dreams.
Oh, oh, track 5… “And don’t you love the sound… of the last laugh going down.” I remember when I went off to uni and got super drunk and texted you those lyrics and you were absolutely furious because I’d woken you up at stupid o’clock. I remember I cried because you didn’t appreciate what I meant by sending that. And honestly, I think I just really missed you. And plus, it’s a fucking great song.
They had you crying, but you came up smiling.
They had you crawling, and you came up flying.
They had you crying, and you came up smiling,
and the last laugh, baby, is yours.
I love you. Sleep tight Fathership. Xx
P.S. I found your Friday lottery ticket in your jeans. GUESS WHAT?! We’re still poor.
P.P.S. Everything seems so weird and irrelevant now. Will explain later.