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Family Gathering

Now being made into a radio play and theatre production.

Vist Natascha Tallowin's Profile

Family Gathering

He looks at me with interest

Head cocked with expectant eyebrows

Takes a wine glass from a tray, and fixes me with a stare

Smiles toothily, while I prepare

For him to ask…

“What do you want to do?”

Pause for effect

Nods to a stranger with lustful respect

I feel the need to prolong the answer which I know he expects:

“What do you mean?”

He laughs at my question

Guzzles his alcoholic drink

Gives an avuncular wink

Pats my arm

With gluttonous charm

Oblivious to my obvious alarm

“What is it you want to do

For your career?

What’s your plan for future years?

Have you got something in mind

A job of some kind?”

His face nears

“After all, I’m sure you could,

Get a job as good as mine

If you wanted to, which of course you do

You could get a job that earns a good bob

You could be like my son; he’s reached his first ten million

And he’s only twenty one.

Of course money isn’t everything

And you’ve got to be smart

Not like all these hippies who are into art

And think with their heart

You’ve got to be clever; you’ve got to have pride

But I think you could do it if you really


He leaves me to ponder his wisdom for a bit

Before beckoning over

The blondest waitress in the entire place

And with a leering smile on his face

Takes another glass of wine

Applauding the quality of grapes and their vine

And before I have a chance

To advance, in a different direction

He is back with another selection

Of greatly treasured reflections

“Don’t get me wrong

Just because I’ve got

The proverbial lot

With a wife from Thailand

And a maid on hand.

Two millionaire kids

And a home in Madrid.

Money can’t buy you everything

It’s just luck that I’ve got a house

With a natural spring

Six bathrooms and

Seventeen bedrooms

That I’m happy is just what everyone presumes.”

He jokes, quite clearly happy that he’s never been broke.

“So what is it you’ve decided on

Hairdresser or beauty salon?”

He pauses for a beat

Long enough for me to retreat to a nearby seat

And sigh

“I want to write”

I admit

Pondering this postulating half-wit

Genius comes in many a form

And this frightfully fantasy engorged fellow

Isn’t one of them.

He looks taken aback

Wheezes like an asthmatic before an attack

“A journalist, a good job it’s true…”

He grins, reforming himself like Terminator II

“I want to be a writer of fiction, poetry…”

My words are cut short

And before I have time to abort

He descends upon me and snorts,

“You want to be careful who you tell that to

Not many people are as open minded as me and you.

I know some people think

That all you writers do is drink

And smoke

And take drugs

But I don’t listen to what people say

I know all you musos and artists and writers…aren’t gay

Not that it matters to me by the way

If you want to be a fag,

Be a fag

That’s what I say.

My mind starts to wander

His wine is gone

And he’s starting to dribble

As he dribbles on and fucking on

“I don’t know much about writing

But I’m sure that it’s exciting

To know, that one day you might

Be able to write

Almost as well as that bird who died..”

He momentarily loses his stride

“You know the one I mean

The one who drowned herself in that stream

Virginia something, is that the one?”

He asks as my facade starts coming undone…


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