It's just gone midnight. I went to the movies tonight and saw Frequency with Dennis Quaid. It was an okay movie, but for a fatherless child like myself it stirred up lots of memories and wishes.
It also reminded me about the time after my father died. For a very long time afterwards really, years and years and years, I would dream he wasn't dead. That it had all been a terrible mistake or a stupid plan or prank, that he was really just living somewhere else, and I would see him as if it were yesterday. I dream very vividly, and I would wake sometimes not sure if I was awake but with the joy in my heart that my father was alive, only to have that fade as the realisation that it was just a dream set in as time awake moved on.
No one talks about him. My mother never ever speaks of my father. Neither do my siblings. After Nana died for a while there my aunts and uncles spoke of him. It was the first time, hearing about him and his exploits, because I only knew him as a child knows their father - and even then those memories are few and distorted - and nothing at all of him as a person. I remember sitting by him and in his lap, I remember the fire and him making plastercine animals - they were perfect minitures - me in my pyjamas, feet white dotted with talc after my bath,him still smelling of the fine sand from his work. Crouched low heads togehter forming tiny ears of leopards and trunks of elephants. He would warm the plastercine in front of the fire then the finished animal would firm over night on the mantle. I remember his smell. I remember his hands. I remember he loved to drive really fast, and he loved cars. He could sing really well, and would sometimes sit on my bed, in the dark, and sing softly to me. He taught me to colour in with one colour, using the differing pressures to create different tones so having lots of colours wasn't necessary to make a picture pretty. He had lines when he smiled, crinkling smiling eyes and in the summer his skin was nut brown. He used to dive and fish, he loved the sea. Once he came home with nets full of fish and they spilled all over the back lawn and amongst the fish were small hammerhead sharks. He would try and teach me to hold my breath for a long time and he used to say I couldn't come out on the boat because girls couldn't pee overboard. He kept tropical fish. He made things - often not finishing them. People loved him. I remember when he got sick - and when he got sicker. And how much I wish I'd been older and how much I wish I could have known how to handle the situation, and how much I wished I told him I loved him more. Still. I miss him everyday. Every single day.
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Tonight, I hugged David goodnight. I foodged him and hugged him again. He said "I love you" and I said "I love you too" and he said "but you don't need to hug the love out of me" so I hugged with less force and giggled and giggled and so did he.