Father

I've given up on the NaNoWriMo for this year – too many twelve hour shifts (I'm starting nightshifts today), coupled with some deadlines approaching and I'd have to spend twelve hour shifts when not at work writing to keep up with the schedule.

This doesn't mean I'm abandoning it, I'm going to keep writing it, and I may throw the 'beta version' up somewhere else – be sure I'll let you know when and if I do.

—–

Back to writing about ambulance work, work that often seems stranger than fiction.

The job I'm writing about today would, if shown as a 'Casualty' episode, have me groaning at the screen at how unlikely the events were.

We were sent to a 'male, collapsed', on the screen was the patient's name – it was a name I was somewhat familiar with.

It was a name I used to go by (sometimes I feel like Old Ben Kenobi remembering his time as Obi wan Kenobi with the amount of names I had…).

I've mentioned my father once on this site – in 2005 I wrote this,

The short version of my history with my father is that he left home when I was around fourteen (my brother was around twelve), and married another woman (without divorcing my mother first – an oversight on his part, he is after-all barely literate). Since then I haven’t seen or heard from him, which was a bit strange as the split between mum and him wasn’t acrimonious.

So my attitude toward him has basically been ‘Fuck him’, it appears that he wanted us out of his life as quickly as possible, and he has succeeded admirably on that point.

So…why was I thinking about how I’d love to meet with him, tell him how excellent my life is? I’d love to let him know that my brother is an excellent teacher and is getting well paid for his work. I’d love him to see how his walking out on us only freed both my brother and I to go on to do things that we love doing. I’d love to show him how relaxed and chilled out my mother is now. I’d love someone to read this blog out to him, so that he could know that I’m doing better without him in my life.

Actually…I wonder if he is still alive?

So – for one moment after not thinking about him for years, I’d love to rub his nose in how good my family and I have it now he isn’t on the scene.

And now I find myself going to someone who could well be him…

We arrived on scene, I was driving and I'd been telling my crewmate about my history with my father. It looked like the place where I'd last seen him more than twenty years ago, but I wasn't sure.

Then we entered the flats and from the tickle in my memory it was obvious that this was where he lived.

He was laying on the floor with one of our FRU people already looking after him. The FRU looked at us and started to give us a handover.

'This is *Firstname* *Secondname*', he said.

'I know', I replied, 'it's my dad.'

'Hey, your son is here', the FRU said.

'He probably wouldn't recognise me', I said back as my father turned to look at me.

The job itself was fairly simple, carry him downstairs, into the lift – then, after running some tests, off to hospital.

I wheeled him into the lift, it was small so his 'wife' walked down the stairs – me, my crewmate and my dad, alone in the lift.

He looked up at me and said the only two words he would say to me during the time we spent together that night.

'Say nothing'.

Now, if I had even the slightest care about him, those two words would rip out my soul and stamp on it. It would break my heart. That his son, who he hasn't seen for twenty or more years is here, saving his life and all he wants is for me to say nothing to him.

He has his new life, and he wants nothing to do with me, or my brother.

'Fuck him' would indeed seem to be the right attitude to have had over him, and I'm very glad that I've not worried, fretted or even given a moments consideration to the man that walked out on me and my brother. Now I knew why we'd never had even a birthday card from him.

He had obviously wanted to wash his hands of us.

So I switched to 'full on professional' mode. I spoke to his 'wife' (who seems quite a nice person actually) to get his history and I drove him to hospital.

After dropping him off I asked my crewmate if she thought it would be a good idea if I walked in to him, told him how well our family is doing without him and then walked out.

She rightly pointed out that despite wanting to give him a slap when he'd said 'say nothing' to me, it would do no good.

—–

So we left him at hospital – I don't know if he lived or died. To be honest I don't care – I care less than I would were he one of the strangers I pick up normally.

I told my mum about it, and she was furious – I think she would have quite liked to have turned up at the hospital herself, but I assured her that once my shift was over I'd stopped thinking about him.

So yes, stranger than Casualty – although I'm sure that Casualty would have had us reconciling…

—–

Oh, that 'other project' I mentioned? It's my new group website. And it's open.

14 thoughts on “Father”

  1. Yep – the 'prize' is that I get to keep my job. Anything else and I would get the sack.As for an audio edition of my book – there are moves afoot to do just such a thing…

  2. Good Lord. Sounds like you've taken exactly the correct attitude.-

    On a completely different note, I've really enjoyed reading your nano novel and hope you let us see the rest when you get around to writing it.

  3. It seems to me that you and your 'father' are square. He gave you life. You gave him life (by taking him to the hospital).God bless you for your kindness to one so undeserving.

  4. The LAS should estabish a prize for such an attitude, really. I mean, many other people would have just gone mad, but you did the right thing anyway. Many compliments, really.As for your new project… that's a great idea. Is it just open to people who have already finished writing at least a work of fiction in english, or also to people still writing their first one?By the way, can I give you a very egoistic advice? Have you ever considered recording an audio edition of your books? Because I often use audio books (I can't read for more than five minutes on buses without feeling sick, and audio books – plus the Economist audio edition – are a very good exercise to practice English as a second language).

  5. It really does sound like 'Casualty' made its way into real life. I mean, what are the chances? I'm surprised how cool you were about it all and it says something about strength of character that you got through the job without an incident of GBH.”Say nothing”…. my mouth actually dropped open.

    I hope this hasn't messed with your head too much and if it has, you're giving yourself space to think it through. Hang tough.

  6. Perfect (for the audio edition), please let me know when it's done. My email is my username here @gmail.comAbout your new project? Is it open to foreigners writing in English for Nanowrimo (but I see a lot of editing ahead)?

  7. Close the door on it, for he is not worth another moment of your time. You deserved better than he gave you at that moment in time. You might get half your genes from him, but your stature as a man you got from your mum and brother and no matter what he does, or doesn't do in the future he is not your problem anymore.{{hugs}} though, it must have been awful

  8. It's not for publishing ebooks, but rather discussion about and around the subject of ebooks and the like.But if you write an ebook, do get in touch – we'll see if we can review it.

  9. With your behaviour, you actually said a great deal.1. I have a very important job.

    2. I am experienced.

    3. I am professional.

    4. I have great self restraint.

    5. You are not important to me.

    Excellent!

  10. My dad passed away after falling off a cliff, presumably during a drunken blackout. I'd had to let him go long before that so totally believe and understand that you're all better off without your father but still, this post made me cry – and that's rarer than hens' or even dragons' teeth, I can tell you! All of us out here in the internet ether respect and admire you and see wonderful things in you. Possibly all the more now. Sorry if that's a bit gushing but I had to say it. His loss.

  11. ok, so your response was correct and its fantastic that you were able not to let it destroy you.However I bet we would all like to form an orderly queue to slap him in the face, just because he deserves it.

    On another note, from his point of view, maybe the only way he could cope with the guilt was to convince himself you all stopped exsisting the moment he walked out …

    he still needs a slap though

  12. Yeah, something along those lines was my first thought. He can't stand the fact that you've done well. What a screwball. You're lucky your family got rid of him.

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