Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Daddy Day Care

Two things I wanted to add.

Firstly, I’ve had a little dental work this week. Nothing major – I have pretty good teeth for someone who hit a teen slump and spent far too long watching videos and eating nothing but Nik Nak crisps and drinking 3l bottles of Coke pretty much everyday.

A few years back I had some other work done, and was butchered by a dentist who made my front teeth look like I constantly had pieces of spinach stuck in them. A little something that made me so self conscious that I rarely smiled with my lips open. Not any more. Now I have my pearly whites back, and find myself smiling more and more. I do feel a little bit like Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho – with more body fat – but this is probably very much in my mind.

The other things is in light of Father’s day, just gone.

My dad and I have a good relationship, if a little less Father and Son and a little more friendly. I do love him, and am eternally grateful of everything he has ever done for me. However, we are, in many respects, worlds apart, which has made my dad feel uncomfortable sharing interests with me.

A little while back I finally (after several years) convinced him to come along and watch me play football. For the record, I am not a good footballer – flat footed, short sighted and very inexperienced in playing – but I do have great match stamina. I think that having one of my nephews play in the same team helped convince him to come along too.

I have played in various teams for several years, but have never been really good enough to play consistently, or settle with a single team. However a little while back, I made it into a team, the ninth of their 10 sides, which was local, and which seemed to pick me every week – granted, they rarely had the full eleven players, but that’s by the by. For someone who has been told that there is no room for him in teams before that only had ten players turn up, this was an improvement.

I had never scored though – for all my footballing minutes, I was yet to register a single goal.

So, my dad came along to watch. The first half was pretty bad, but not too dull. Second half came, and after a few minutes I scored. Accidentally, but a goal nonetheless. A little before the end of the match I got a second – not too shabby an effort, either. That match ended, and I couldn’t see my dad on the sidelines, so went and got changed.

When I later met up with him and asked what he thought, he told me that he’d left early, that his grandson had looked good, but that he just wasn’t into it. I asked about the goals, but he’d missed them. He did, he said, take some photos, and asked if I wanted to look at them. So we went through them. A few of my nephew, and then a series of wide disinterested shots of the match.

“There’s none of me.” I said quietly, after going through them all several times.

“Yes there is, look.” He pointed at a fat guy with dark hair, one of my teammates that could have been mistaken for me if you looked quickly, weren’t too close, or had something in your eye.

“Thanks for coming, dad.” I said quietly.

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