Now You Are 68

Daddy dearest,

Happy Birthday to you!!

This morning I received a notification on my tablet telling me that I took eight photos on this day two years ago. They are funny photos of me and you, drunk at the pub, pulling silly faces. I remember how after those photos were taken I got really drunk and was spilling drinks and knocking plants over and talking too loudly and being a nuisance and generally causing a scene, and you told me that I was embarrassing you and you’d never said that to me before and it really hurt me. I never, ever fall out with you. But you were really pissed off at me that night and I was devastated that I had let alcohol come between us. That’s when I first realised I had a drink problem.

Whenever I behaved like that you would say that I was being obstreperous. Obstreperous. We liked that word. I can hear your voice now in my head saying, “Darling, you’re being obstreperous.”

Obstreperous. There was being “as pissed as a mattress” and there was being “obstreperous.” I know that you’re in paradise now, having a pint with your brothers, probably well on your way to becoming the former, if not the latter.

I’m going to the pub now to see your pals. We’re having a party for you. I’ll buy you a double Southern Comfort with a dash of lemonade and put it on your table in front of your seat as I do every year. We will laugh remembering your dreadful jokes and someone will do an impression of you, putting on a terrible Cornish accent. I promise not to become obstreperous. Everyone’s keeping an eye out on me anyway – so many people promised you that they would look after me and they’re all keeping their promises.

My heart is fucking broken, Dad. I still feel that there’s a tiny chance that when I walk into the pub, you’ll be sitting there in your usual seat and you’ll tell me that you were just winding me up. After all, it was you that taught me that nothing is impossible.

I love you so much Daddy. I miss you when I blink. Happy Birthday, old man. I love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



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