November 13, 2012
I got a call from my father. ‘Mom…’ That’s how he calls me; his mother; because I have been named after his old lady. I answered and he went on. ‘You know you are my mother, right?’
‘Dad, what have you been drinking again?’ I always know when he has had something to drink. He is generally a quiet person but whenever he takes something, he becomes very excited and talks a little too much…a lot like me, though I am not a drunk. I actually don’t drink. Ok, I lie. I drink water, milk and lots of sweet white wine; and now I’m talking too much.
There was some noise in his back ground; noise that made me easily bear out his location. He was in a pub. ‘What is it, dad’ I pushed knowing only too well the state he was in. ‘Mom, You are my mother, Do you know that?’ He struggled to sound serious. ‘Yes, dad’ I didn’t want to fight. Never pick a fight with a man who is holding a bottle. And I’m not saying he will hit you with it, even though that too makes sense. No one can fight a drunken man and win, trust me.
‘Good’ I could almost picture him nodding his head and almost hitting the counter with it. This was not usual for a man who has known alcohol to be his friend since I was never there. ‘Dad, is everything OK? Why are you so drunk…?’
‘No!’ He cut me short. ‘Are you calling me a drunk; your own father? That just hurt!’ Indeed. I had pressed a wrong button there. Lesson one for me; a drunken man is very emotional
Daddy’s little girl
‘I’m sorry dad. Please let me not interrupt you. When you called me, I believe there is something you wanted to say?’ I hoped I was leading him in the right direction.’ Ooooooh Yeeeees! ‘And he laughed as if happy to remember. I smiled, pleased with myself. ‘I am a very sad man today,’ ‘Well, dad, you certainly do not sound like one. Tell me, what exactly are you having today?’ I teased him. ‘They bought me a cold Tusker, then another and another, and then they just kept coming. Your mother will not be very pleased with me today.’ he chuckled. ‘No, she will not,’ I agreed. ‘Fanne, I have been looking you up on the internet and I am a very disappointed man.’ I was puzzled. ‘Dad, you don’t go to the internet. Who got you there? And I do not post any naked pictures of myself. Neither do I get tagged on any, willingly.’ I was quick to defend myself. ‘Shut up and listen, young lady’ he interrupted. Did he just call me a young lady? ‘Dad, you’re growing old fast. I am now a married….’ ‘Fanne, you talk too much. That’s where my problem is.’ I was lost. ‘I don’t understand…’ He went on to explain. ‘To me and your mother, you are our little girl.’ ‘No I am not!’ I was tempted to scream out. ‘And even if you are married, you still have a dad who loves you and is always looking out for you.’ He sounded nothing like a drunk. ‘Everywhere I look out for you I have to search you by your husband’s name or Mama Pesh. ‘I’m sorry, dad’ I whispered, taking in the rush of a lot of guilt. ‘You still bear my name, you know and I am still very important to you.’
A sealed deal
There was a minute-long silence and I all I could afford to mutter was, ‘Sorry,’ I didn’t see this one coming. I never knew my father, the man we feared slightly more than God, when we were kids could get jealous of Justin. He felt weakened that his girls were all married and his name was never mentioned anywhere. That made me sad too. I had to find a way to defend myself. ‘Dad, listen,’ I stuttered, ‘Call me back, I am not on postpaid and you took too long to get over your guilt.’ He said and hung up immediately. He is a hilarious person. He somehow makes me laugh even in the worst situations. I called him back. ‘I am embarrassed, Dad’. I started and I could almost see a smile crack his usually precipice face. ‘I had no idea you felt this way and I am sorry. My boss knows Justin very well. When he hired me, they created my email with his name. So I changed my blog to the same name too. One day, I’m going to be a great person and all I’m trying to do is create a brand in my name, just so I am able to fight off any impersonator along the way…’ that was the best I could do. He was quiet and I knew he wasn’t satisfied. I thought harder. ‘I have a proposal. Why don’t I post on my blog and write all my articles this week using our family name?’
‘Hmmm, yes, that is a good idea. Except that I don’t want to be a celebrity. I just want you to carry my name and remember me even for just a while’ ‘What happened to the beers, dad?’ he was getting too sober to discuss such a serious complaint. ‘I now have six bottles I need to drown now, so hang up or I may need to sell some back so I can sneak out before your mother calls again.’
‘Speak later, dad. I love you!’ He was silent. ‘Are you there, dad?’
‘I heard you.’ He replied, ‘Let’s see how this week goes’
‘Of course Daddy. You love me too. Bye dad!’ Perfect. It was a done deal.