It’s a Princess’ Life

1 Apr

Bermondsey.
I love the name of that city. I don’t know if it’s real. I read it in a book my dad gave me when I was just out of college. Bermondsey. It could’ve been the name of our city. The Great City. It’s a game Dad and I used to play when I was little. Maybe four or five. No, three. He’d lie down on the couch and I’d ride on his back to The Great City. He was the ship and I was the captain. I’d sail like that and he’d fall asleep for a few minutes. He’d give me hard candy when he’d wake up. Say he’d bought it from the gypsy vendors selling in the outdoor market on the docks of The Great City.
Moo-eats. It’s how I used to say “minutes” when I was little. Dad told me. I don’t remember.
Could’ve been Bermondsey, The Great City. I liked the book and later I saw the movie. “Last Orders.” I liked the title, too. It had Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren in it. I saw the film at CrossRoads Cinema on a date. With my dad. He’d take me out on Saturdays. When I could get out of bed. He was a good dad. I never told him that. He was always there. Always. It was his turn, though. After all those years, it was his turn. But he was there. He did it. Always, he was there for me. I never told him.
Bermondsey.
It was just stuck in my head all those years. It sounded nice and English. So proper. It sounded like somewhere where I belonged. In some other time, maybe. With Michael Caine and Helen Mirren. In a pub. Fish and chips. And a warm fireplace on a dreary day. Maybe.
We had our rows, though. Dad and I. The night I came in after I broke my finger. I was living with him then. The night I came in, then, when he took the bottle. That was our biggest row. He grabbed just below the twisty top and pulled it out of my hands. He was too strong. And I was trashed. My skin was itchy and blotchy around the neck. The drink always did that. I had eczema when I was little. Or psoriasis or something. He took the bottle to the sink and emptied it. All of it. Perfectly good bottle of vodka. I had just bought it. Sixteen dollars. Sixteen dollars is a lot of money. All of it down the drain. He just dumped it like that. He had no right. He didn’t. Not him. Bloody fucking hypocrite. That’s what I thought then. The rage came up from my belly. I grabbed his hair and pulled so hard, blood came out of his scalp. When it ripped it sounded like Velcro. There was blood trickling down his nose, into his mouth. It was awful. It was awful what I’d done. But I didn’t care then. He dumped a full bottle of vodka down the drain. That was more important. Then.
When I’d had my accident, he was there. Dad.
Daddy.
Da’.
I used to call him that, and he loved it. I used to do it in an Irish accent. Da’. He loved it.
After I drove the Rabbit into the telephone pole. He was there. I broke my knee and my foot. Entire leg, I guess. After the impact, I ended up in the passenger seat. The police found me and for a while they thought I was the passenger and the driver had bailed. It’s what I told them.
–I feel sorry for the guy driving, is what I’d said. Slurred, more like it.
And they went looking for a drunk driver on foot. They went looking for a man who’d fled the scene. Only, I honestly didn’t remember I was the driver. It’s how soused I was.

–Dad?
I didn’t hear him on the other end. He must’ve just picked up and listened.
–Dad? Daddy?
–Yes, love.
–Da’
I didn’t hear him. The room was too loud.
–Yes, love. I’m here. Livy. I’m here.
–Where?
–I’m here. Coming to get you. Coming to get you?
He’d said it twice, I thought. It sounded funny.
–Livy?
–What?
–Livy. Where are you, love? Livy? Let me come get you.
–Bermondsey.

It was the only thing I could think of. It was stupid. It’s where I wanted to be, though. The Great City. Our city.
I had no idea where I was. I had cut my hand on something. Fuck. Broken glass.
I don’t know how he found me. How he came there.
I vomited off the patio into the weeds. And then I fell in it.
He was always there for me. I just never told him. I should have. I loved him.
My Da’.

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4 Responses to “It’s a Princess’ Life”

  1. Anon e Moose 01/04/2008 at 6:10 PM #

    Rapid man. Absolutely killer fiction.

  2. Slyboots 01/04/2008 at 7:38 PM #

    You are going places with this one…am looking forward to it.

  3. Maritza 03/04/2008 at 4:43 AM #

    Fantastic.

  4. (S)wine 03/04/2008 at 5:28 PM #

    ahaha, anon-e-moose…i get it. i get it.
    hahahahahaha.
    hahahaha.
    hahaha.
    haha.
    ha.

    thanks Maritza, still coming by, i see.

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