Go left




































By now there were other voices too, not ours, who wanted to talk to us, to ask us why we were travelling, what it all meant. Everyone had a pet theory but none of them made sense. Someone suggested that it was an attempt to outrun patriarchal law, to move beyond the reach of the dominant Father figure, but that wasn’t really possible. Whatever we were running away from, we carried with us. You can’t escape that.

Still, we could always play along. We were just as keen to find the truth as anybody else. We wanted a story that mattered. This is how it goes:

– Tell me. Tell me about your father.
– It is impossible for me to talk about my father. The fact that you ask me to do so makes it impossible. Can’t you see that? By giving in to your demand, I merely reproduce that which I wish to avoid. Please do not take offence. No. Take offence. I don’t care.

What do you need to know? A father cannot do right. What a terrible state of affairs. Imagine living like that. You do everything you consider to be right even though the only thing you can sure of is that whatever you do will eventually be the wrong thing. But still you must do it.

My father was an honest, hard working man who wore himself out providing for his wife and family. My father was a lazy, foul-mouthed slob who regarded me with suspicion and resentment. My father was a stranger who cared only about his work and his mates. My father was this funny little bloke who did odd things around the house and didn’t give a fuck what people thought about him.

My father was the reason I left home. I couldn’t stand the way he used to criticise people on television. It made me very anxious.

My father taught me to tidy up after completing a job. That’s why it’s so important for me to dispose of all the evidence.