Approaching home, I feel the familiar draw, the tensions, as I drive the A-road, passed the tree-lined conurbations and out-of-town industrial estates: home town, home grown;
but no town, not my town, a placeless, nameless drop on the fielded rise and falls towards the distant hills.
My father: shoulders loose, moving forward, a ready smile.
My mother: keenly, bristling forward, you are safe.
The scene is set:
Mr X, reclined and alert, the athletic din, the show of camaraderie, blasting and scores and rides and shouts and tricks: time is occupied, crystal glass in hand.
Mrs X, bustling questioning asking inquiring offering relaying giving ; moving in and out of all these spaces: she is adept, this is her skill, honed over many years, a skill that is now familiar to me; we converse in each other’s spaces.
We negotiate the box of old things, things past, assigned to me;
those ‘you remember that!’ things,
those ‘you sure you don’t want that?’ things;
smile and take some, some taken and put into another box, my box again.
At the bottom, a silver cup with a silver nametag inside. The nametag says ‘phillip’, phillip with two Ls.
‘you remember that? Oh, you won’t you were too young..’