Chapter 2
‘F’ FOR DEAD

A week or two after I come out of the coma Mum suggests I should write down my thoughts. Actually, she says I should write a novel.

Mum’s advising is like an art form. She is persuasive because she is right. This is because she thinks about things. But given that I have missed out on my entire adult life, I find this a strange idea. Which is why I have decided to follow her advice, apart from the novel part. 

Mum, as drawn by Dad a year or two before I was born

Theory is, I can learn to walk after about another week, and gradually acquaint myself with all the clap-trap of missing history and the triumphant march of dumbness.

Also, I have decided to change my name to Latch.

I cried for a good half hour when I found out my grandfather was dead.

Hey. It was a good way of giving up smoking. Sooner or later though, I will have to get myself a job. Pay my way. Find a girlfriend (although I have already changed her name to Abigail). Moving forward is paramount. One cannot dwell on a past that hardly exists.

Abigail and I will tell ourselves we don’t want kids as our lives are too busy. Anyway, she already has three.

Sometimes I am not sure who has been in a coma, me or her.

Norman turned up to borrow a microphone (Mum has kept all my things) and gave me a hug. But really, Norman is mean. If I listened to him I would never do anything.

I am an old man. I am re-entering childhood without ever having left it.

Sometimes people are so good, they make you ache with happiness. Other times, they are much dumber than you think.

Abigail, I say, let’s visit somewhere where they don’t speak American.

This place is full of hypocrites.

Come.

We’ll take the surf canoe.

We’ll leave the washing on the line and let the hot pipes dribble.

I’ve missed out!

I’ve been asleep.

Let’s go!

We don’t need beer or smokes or newspapers.

We’ll rent a half-assed lie and set it on the footpath.

We’ll stroke it like a cat.

We’ll paddle in the estuary.

We’ll patent the tripod barbecue.

Time is marching on.

First one to lodge the patent gets the business.

Tripod barbie

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