The Glenlivet, a double
He was sitting at the table, glass in hand when I walked into the bar. Eyes staring with no particular focus, his lips forming silent words. I wondered if he was praying.
‘Dad,’ I said, too gently perhaps, as he showed no reaction.
I sat down opposite him, shook my head in the direction of the barman. My father looked right through me. I waited; his lips continued to shape words, no attempt to take a drink.
After a couple of minutes I rested my fingers on his wrist. ‘Dad?’
He blinked several times, gradually focussing on me, frowning.
‘Yes Dad, how are you?’
‘All right Son, I’m all right,’ and he lifted the glass and threw the contents into his mouth. After carefully placing the tumbler in the centre of the table, he added. ‘Come to take me home?’
As I helped him up, I mouthed how much to the barman, received a gesture of four fives, so placed a twenty pound note alongside the glass. As we made our way slowly towards the door, my father paused and stared at me. ‘I was talking to your mother, are we going to see her?’
‘Not now, it’s dark and the cemetery gates will be locked.’
‘Yes Dad, we’ll go tomorrow.’