It's coming up to that time of year again. That time of year when 'granny dumping' starts, where everyone has 'flu', when people with sickle cell disease start getting crises.
It's also that time of year where I move one step closer to the grave. It's nearly my birthday.
For some reason I'm thinking about my dad this year. He left us when I was about fourteen years old, he'd gone to live with his other wife (although he still hasn't remembered to divorce my mum yet…). He's got other children who are probably grown up themselves now. I don't know, I haven't heard from him in over twenty years.
Fuck. Until now I hadn't counted.
That's more than twenty years since I had a birthday card from him, more than twenty years since I last saw him, and more than twenty years he's gotten away with being a bigamist.
His sole contribution to me being the person that I am today is around 10cc of genetic material.
So why am I thinking about him now? It's because of a joke that I made to my mum about wondering if I'd get a birthday card this year. I have no idea where that joke came from.
It's not like I think of him much – the last I heard was that he lived someone on my patch, but I've never seen him. For all I know he might be dead. He's actually become a bit of a running joke, the men in our family are all a bit… well… wrong. And, yes, I include myself in that assessment.
He's like a mouth ulcer – I keep probing it to see if it still hurts. It doesn't hurt, it's been too long for that. I don't even think that it hurt when he left – by then I'd realised the sort of person he was. Even before I knew that he'd another family somewhere, a family he took to Florida while we barely had the money to eat.
I'd like to see him. Just the once.
Just to tell him what he missed out on by forgetting about his sons. One became a successful teacher. The other one became me – and you know about me.
So this year, when my year count goes up by one, I'll think of him.
And I'll think, “Fuck him”.