wings and things

Imagined conversation 111

Anthony: Yes?

Me: Why are you saying ‘yes’ with that intolerant tone? I am about to tell you about your armchairs!

Anthony: Yes?

Me: Well, after Ming insisted that the armchair you sat in, in the living room of the farm, get re-upholstered, rather than trashed, I succumbed to his wishes.

Anthony: That’s my boy.

Me: Yes, but the trouble is that, on the way to the upholsterers, Ming and I accidentally had a rather sad conversation about you almost never coming to his football games when he was a kid.

Anthony: I was embarrassed.

Me: Ming has never really told me about his disappointment until today. He really wanted you to see him kick those goals, make that team, win those races … but it was always only me and, sometimes, my mother, watching him succeed.

Anthony: I’m sorry.

Me: I wondered why Ming was so interested in re-upholstering your armchair when it is so stained from your head resting there for so many years of you getting sicker and sicker.

Anthony: This son of ours will be the father I would have been/wanted to be.

Me: So, come on, Ants – let’s choose the fabric!


Imagined conversation 110

Me: We are going to be grandparents, Ants!

Anthony: I know that, Jules.

Me: So how long have you known this, Ants?

Anthony: A few weeks before last Christmas. I knew before you knew, Jules, but that’s only because I have the advantage of perspective.

Me: Let me guess: heavenly perspective?

Anthony: Sarcasm doesn’t suit you, Jules. It used to, but not now.

Me: Ming and Benita revealed the news to me on the 19th of December by putting her in a huge cardboard box, making me un-box her, prompting me to unwrap the ribbon around her waist which contained the pregnancy stick saying it was positive.

Anthony: I watched this and your confusion was gold.

Me: And then I cried with shock and joy, and shock and joy again!

Anthony: I’m not there any more in any down-to-earth way, but I’m still there somehow, I hope.

Me: It is almost impossible to describe the exact symmetry of my joy and anguish to you, Ants. You are the missing piece, the missing half, the incredible grandfather not-to-be, the proudest father ever, my absolutely beautiful husband, gone but not gone.

Anthony: Ming has found his match! Benita is that, and much more.

Me: I know! She is like a gift, a daughter, and a friend.

Anthony: And Ming?

Me: A bit like you, Ants – a rather rustic knight in shinily stained armor that needs a bit of a polish – my hero – my absolute hero.

Anthony: We are going to be grandparents, Jules!