“I feel fine, thank you.”
He began to kowtow to me but I was having nothing of his manipulation. I vowed to myself that I would say nothing further on the matter.
We were sitting in a room with a glass wall overlooking a garden in the midst of a forest. I knew that if I cared to look I would see animals watching me from between the densely packed trees. The taller animals would be flaring their nostrils from the patches of darkness above the shrubbery and the smaller animals, who would be no less fierce in their demeanour, would be glaring from between the leaves down below. I didn’t look.
I had come to the house of my own volition. I sat there now with no restraints on my limbs or body. My mind was clear except to take moderate exception to the quadrasonic rendition of Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool being emitted from a hidden speaker system. Typical of him to employ such subterfuge. I would leave after the final track. I’d have gone before but one must, after all, show some small respect for such things.
His head rose from the deep bow he had directed towards me. I straightened my spine a touch and pulled in my stomach. Must show strength. I marvelled again at the extent and artistry of his self-mutilation. He had attempted to improve the natural ageing of his features twice: first by evincing an expression of apparent jollity and then by virtue of the knife. I’m not going to describe the result. I wouldn’t want to give you nightmares. I shall be the only one to bear that particular weight.
He spoke; but only to rephrase his previous outrageous demand: “tea?”
I hardened my stare and allowed myself a small nod to propriety by shaking my head. I’d see the garden. The Wholemeal Digestives scattered across the grass gave no illusion as to the state of his biscuit barrel. I wanted no part of his Rich Tea Finger fetish.
Identikit started from the speakers. Thom Yorke commenced his customary wailing. Five more tracks to go including this one. Glitch, glitch, glitch, glitch, glitch. I wasn’t a fan and nor am I now. Let’s let the future speak for itself. After all, it may well transpire that I lose my mind and find it in Radiohead. Who knows?
“Well,” he said.
It was at that point I decided that I could and would take no more part in his provocations and I rose from the chair; propriety be damned!
“Lovely to see you, Dad but I rather feel that I’ve overstayed my welcome.”
I left as The Numbers introduced itself with a prolonged high-pitched cry of painfully rendered cacophonousity.