When I was not yet three years old, John Richard and Grace Elizabeth Ingram adopted me from an orphanage in southwest London. When I was four, a stroke left Dad paralysed down his left side; he died when I was 18.
I can still hear the cranky squeaks of your wheelchair. And the clicking of the calipers attached to your legs below the knee. There was the incessant wheezing from the asthma that later attended the paralysis. Your body was your burden. Your light relief was watching the BBC news and “being tickled pink,” as you liked to say, by the old classic British comedies. Dad’s Army. The Good Life. Rising Damp. As a child I longed to pick you up and carry you on my back. Far and away from your wheelchair and back to the fleeting memory I had of you as my able-bodied dad…
When I was not yet three years old, John Richard and Grace Elizabeth Ingram adopted me from an orphanage in southwest London. At the time, my dad was the minister of a thriving church and I was the fourth (and youngest) adopted kid in my family. My heritage is of African descent and my adoptive parents are Caucasian. When I was four, a stroke left my father paralysed down his left side; he died when I was 18.
Due to the stroke, it was difficult for dad to speak so we spent countless hours communicating by playing games of dominoes. Dad would rest his paralysed arm on his card table and play a ferocious game of dominoes with his “good arm.” Invariably he won. Ironically, my dad’s nickname for me was “Topsy.” Even if I didn’t win against him at dominoes he expected me to come top of the class in all my school subjects. I did my best not to let him down.
If I quiet the voices in my head I can still hear the cranky squeaks of his wheelchair. The clicking made by the calipers that were attached to his
legs below the knee. The incessant wheeze from the asthma that attended the paralysis. His body was his burden.
As a child there were times when I longed to pick him up and carry him on my back. Far and away from his wheelchair and back to the fleeting memory I had of him as my able-bodied dad. Now that I’m an adult, I believe there are no accidents. My dad is my role model and I have found my dream job improving the lives of persons with disabilities in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
In my unremarkable corner of the world I’m thinking what’s really going on?
Whilst it’s been widely publicised that humanity has reached the tipping point in favour of the Age of Aquarius and today is the newly-inaugurated NATIONAL HOLIDAY TO COMMERATE LETTING GO OF THE PAST COMPLETELY: all that my cynical brain can come up with in response to both those claims is a rather pathetic “Really”.
As in “Really you don’t say…”
I pride myself on being able to digest the 5 a day fruits and vegetables equivalent of New Age mumbo jumbo spiritual advice which lands on me in a heap every time I turn the pages of “The Secret”, but does letting go of the past really include not caring that I didn’t put my rubbish out on the right day at the right time as dictated by British Government diktat.
In case you’re foreign and unaware: here in the UK, parking your garbage bags at home carries a heavy financial penalty. It’s 40 pounds for a first offence, rising exponentially week on week.
So glad I studied Russian language (and Russian culture since the Tsars’ time) for my university degree in modern languages and international relations, otherwise, I wouldn’t have a fucking clue about what’s going on in so-called modern Britain (as ruled by the Conservative-Liberal Democratic alliance for mutually destructive twits).
(Sorry am I starting to rant?)
To mark the occasion of “letting go of the past completely”, I do hereby stop regretting each and every moment that I’ve been dishonest and fucked somebody simply for the pleasure of driving the proverbial knife into the heart valve of my partner.
Forgive me: I know not what I do….
On a clear day when the sun is high in the sky and the heavens are cloudless, I regret nothing but my ‘unpleasant sweetness’.