There was arsenic in his voice, boozy and bitter with recrimination, dark and foreboding as a winter storm. He was hostage to his fate; tied down by a wife and mewling brats and locked into the mundane drama of domestic life. His only succour was the drink that made him mean and the memories that only fuelled his dissatisfaction.
He was something of a philosopher when drunk – but his homilies smelled of meat and murder, and his declarations were as brutal as his hands. His facts were plain as his daily bread – his fictions as transparent as his liquor. He seemed to sup from that poisoned cup that twists at a man’s insides. He spewed forth a venomous mixture of sarcasm and bile that burned the ears and shamed the listener. I can honestly say I never knew him. I never saw beyond the disguise. He was an enigma to me and a puzzle to my heart was my old man.