Just a school for grown ups!

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been to hell.   A place I never want to stay.   It smells like our school, and echos in just the same way… but the doors bang harder, and the security guards (what they call ‘screws’) are even more evil than our Science teacher!

formerly known as strangeways

Image via Wikipedia

Anthony had agreed to come to Strangeways in Manchester so I could see the fella who was me dad.   He’d written a few emails and made a few phone calls – and then here we were – being checked for flickies and coke as we walked in.

I felt sick.   Sick with excitement, sick with dread.  I was finally going to meet the fella who was me dad, Carl Laurence.    I’d rehearsed it in the mirror loads of times – smiling, shaking hands with myself ‘Hello dad, I’m Tommy.. your son’.   But now I’d forgotten what I’d rehearsed.  I couldn’t remember my own name, let alone how to shake hands.

Anthony was dead boss.. he put his hand on my shoulder and smiled.. he didn’t have to say anything.. I knew he was telling me that he’d make sure everything was all right.

And then, there I was, sitting opposite the fella I’d been waiting to meet for years.   Tall, brown skin, messy, Afro hair.   He didn’t shake my hand.  He just stared at me across the table.

I couldn’t talk.  Anthony explained to him who I was, and that me ma had said I was his son.

‘So…. Tommy!’  Said Carl, ‘You’ve grown up!’

Turned out he’d known me when I was a baby.   It’s weird, but I didn’t have the feelings  I thought I would.   Before I came to Strangeways I so wanted to meet him, for him tell me he was my dad.  But now as I watched his lined face, and looked between his missing teeth, I didn’t feel like I had any connection to him at all.

‘Are you me dad?’ I said nervously.

Carl smiled, but not a good smile, a smile that meant something else, ‘I could be.  With a mother like yours, who knows!’

At first I didn’t know what he was getting at.. but then I got it.  I stood up, ‘What are you saying about me ma?’

‘Nothin’ lad, nothin’.  I must admit, he did look a bit sorry for saying it.

Anthony got hold of my arm, and made me sit down.   But I couldn’t listen to Carl Laurence after that.  He kept speaking, but I couldn’t hear it.. I couldn’t understand it.   I watched his eyes, his mouth, his wrinkles moving.   If he was my dad, I didn’t give a f&ck.   I had a horrible feeling welling up in my stomach as he kept speaking.  He was trying to be nice but I hated him.

I didn’t speak again.   Just listened to his words, but couldn’t take them in.   I was made up when Anthony said we should go.. he knew something was wrong… he knew I wanted to leave Carl Laurence behind.

As I left, he said he was getting out soon, and he’d look me up.   Why did I just want to cry.. not wimpy crying, but angry crying.  But  I wasn’t going to show him.   I kept it together right until I got outside the first doors.. and then Anthony put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed it.  I fell apart!  Burst into loads of tears… Stupid, wimpy bastard that I am.

I just don’t know what to think or feel anymore.  Who the f$ck am I?

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Comments
  1. judithatwood says:

    Hey, Tommy. You didn’t know your dad, and now he isn’t much of a man. Be your own dad, comfort your inner child, who is obviously deeply hurt by the whole thing. You aren’t a wimpy bastard; you’re expectations are coming up against reality, and reality bites.

  2. val odriscoll says:

    fabulous as usual xx

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