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Picking Dad Up

Picking Dad Up by Bridgette Burton - Page 1

Bridgette Burton

Memory is supposedly like a well. By that I think they mean it seems bottomless and opaque, unknowable.

I pick my Dad up outside the club. He goes to the club every Tuesday and Wednesday, one of those old Italian man clubs where it looks like they just sit around and drink coffee. Which is exactly what they do. For about eight hours. It’s not all they do, of course, but it looked that way to me when I was ten, and I’d come down for a while to sit on my Dad’s knee and take a sneaky sip of his espresso.

I stopped going at some point, but he has always gone. I see him there always, it is the first place I can most accurately imagine him. He went on the weekends. Back then.

I pull up to the curb, and I gesture for him to get in. He is a good looking older man, looks about 55, but he’s 65, and so vain about it. He gets in the car, smoothing his hair, smiles and says, in his accent, “Thank you, this is very nice, very kind”.

“That’s ok Dad”

“Oh…….you are my daughter?”

“It’s Genny, Dad.”

“Of course it is, of course. Genevieve. You know we called you that because your mother…”

He has stopped talking and looks out the window. He runs his fingers along the inside of the car window.

“Because Mum had a dog called Genevieve. You named me after Mum’s dog. I know Dad.”

He laughs then. He laughs and then sits quietly.

At one time he would have complimented me on my scarf, it’s his favourite colour. At one time he would have told me that I was riding the clutch too much. At one time he would have regaled me with the stories at the club, in particular what Vitaly had been up to. Vitaly was a rogue.  I slept with Vitaly when I was 20. That is not a piece of information that either of my parents have.

Picking Dad Up by Bridgette Burton - Page 1

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