Rich dad, poor dad
Rich dad had it all, the sheen
of the thick white walls inside the extensive
property with the perfect Jekyll garden,
the sheen of the newish car and Bauhaus oven and
hob and stereo and telly, the sheen of the
lush bank balance, the sheen of the various
investment accounts, and the sheen
of the tanned skin of the ever-so-polite
financial advisor, ever-so-your friend and loved one.
Yes, there was the more troubled son with his
strange events and sagas, the sudden midnight
vomit on the stairs, the air-letter on which each
inch was filled with the meaningful words of
'bla bla bla', the spitting on the dashboard - but, these were
passed, passed by, like an anonymous drunk in the night.
And yet, other anonymi had been saved and, yes,
a flat was bought to house him, reducing his presence to visits.
Rich dad filed all his inbox and assembled photos
in albums of family history and catalogued the
old cine films of visits and smiles and dramatic
litte sagas. And then, the day came, the twilight,
when the son visited and complained of the endless
noise in his head and they pleaded with him, rich dad
and rich mum, not to disappear into the night,
but he went to his ending, to his own planning, and then
the phone call and the voice, too loud, too soft,
too hesitant, too determined, harsh
its words of sudden reality.
In later years, he would recatalogue and re-collect and recollect the times and faces in
the pcture manuals, the joyous story books
of growing and changing, that would show back that face
now no more ... He wept inside, allowed himself that even,
while still showing perfect to the world.
Poor dad had little, and even meagre hope when
the inheritances from rich dad filled briefly his
account, that always plunged back into a withering 'red'.
In a 'lusher' time, poor dad got the call; it was her
who had almost spurned him, while he had worked to prepare
for the moment of crisis. "Dad, I need your help."
He muttered something, thinking this not yet the nadir
but just a portent. "No, Daaaad, I really need your help."
So this was it. He drove to her. He found her. Together,
they grew. Together, they learnt to understand ...
each other, their woe. And slowly, two more of his came to him.
"Why do daughters treat you like a god?" he (small 'h') asked into the night.
And, with each, he said, at different times "I'm sorry I've not been perfect,
but I'm a mortal just like you."
And now, he found under the papers of the
debt-management plan - 4 years in, 3 still
to run - a tangled mass of atrophying plastic
swallowed with photos of the ex and all three.
He found an album, barely used by some other,
in a pile in a heap, and built his own collection
with the shine of young and perfect faces,
sequencing from year to year,
for each to see when they were ready.