Friday, January 03, 2014


i want to write about my father, talk about him, talk to him, say all the things i wish i said before, take back half of what i did say+do...but i can't. cyah take back, cyah go forward, and when i try to write, words fail. my whole brain fail. whole self fail.
i knew my father was an alcoholic before i hit double-digits. i was the one present for the majority of his hallucinations, was with him and my mother for most of his hospital stays. we barely spoke 10sentences in the last 18months, until a week before he died when he was diagnosed with stage4 cancer and i decided not to let his alcohol problem steal our last few months together. within days of us reconciling he was dead. no months. not even weeks; just 5days. and on day5 he could barely speak because the struggle to breathe was too much; it took him 8hours to drink 6ounces of water, one tiny sip at a time dribbled into his mouth from a plastic juice bottle like the ones he tried to hide alcohol in, by my terrified hand...
my father lied. my father chose his vices over me. but my father ironed my diapers. my father taught me to speak, to read+write, to love music+literature; he gave me myself. he talked to me like a real person from jump, so much so that friends passing him on the road were convinced he was mad, conversing with himself nonstop while driving, unable to see baby-me taking in every single word. my father taught me logic, to prize intelligence, to always make informed decisions and to never sign anything without reading+understanding it completely. my father is brilliant. was brilliant.
was brilliant.
my father taught me so well he knew he could let me read any+everything from his personal library and beyond by the time i was 10 because i could handle it, because he taught me more(+better) than any school ever did or could. and i am my father's child. when i got in trouble in primary school it was for reading jeffrey archer, robert ludlum, james clavell, stephen king, under my desk because i was already miles ahead of the rest of my class and would rather read than make many books confiscated until the end of term; but his library was bottomless, and they couldn't stop me. my father taught me that too.
my father's music collection was so good i didn't really acquire my own until i left home and missed stevie wonder and hugh masakela and andre tanker and michaels- both george+jackson- so severely i had to binge-shop to replace a.s.a.p. what i had left behind, feeling lost and empty without fred's fela kuti and stalin and shadow and rudder. i didn't know how much i loved my father's music until i couldn't just go downstairs and put needle to vinyl and hear tiny dancer and madman across the water at will anymore.
i am my father's daughter. even now. my father is dead and i am lost and all i can think of is another of our shared loves, curtis mayfield, who automatically became the mental soundtrack for this larger-than-life moment because of a song among my favourites, a song i funking along to for most of my life without realising the irony of me singing those lyrics, now a loop playing over+over in my head...freddy's dead...and now nobody will ever say my name right again.

walk good.


Anonymous Joshua Gray said...

A beautiful tribute. May he Rest In Peace.

12:54 pm  
Blogger m.jamesphotography said...

Wow! I never meet your father, but truly wish I had the chance to converse with him..even if it was for a minute. Like Joshua said, this is a beautiful tribute to your father. Sending my love to you and your family.

4:07 pm  
Blogger crazyfool said...

thank you for the glimpse...

10:31 am  
Blogger Nigel Campbell said...

This is a moving obituary. Honest and clear. As you say, walk good.

10:07 am  

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