I come awake in the middle of the night – this morning – on a memory so tangible I can smell it. It is Christmas 1966 or 7, and I am with my mother in a shop in Glasgow. The bell rings over the door and the heat hits us. An odor of tissue paper or sawdust. There is a sentence of words strung together like parcels tied with string that is somehow important, but even if I could remember it I don\’t suppose I would write it down.
It is not for sharing, perhaps, or it would mean nothing to you if I could. My father is not there with us. But he is close by. The man behind the shop counter is bored but feigns interest.
My father died long before my son was ever conceived. Like his own father before I came into this world. Bloody but mute.