Race was a factor when they called my father out – on London Street, Campsie – let’s not quibble over the facts. I know because I was there, and even though it was my father they called a wog and even though it was my father who refused to fight, I knew that what I had witnessed was for me and me only.
The man was drunk, my dad said, and in any case the law would never take his side if he sat a drunk man on his arse, even if he was a racist drunk man. Well, the former was certainly likely – you could tell from his pallid salamander skin. And the latter? Well, I seen enough cops harass enough people to believe it.
That wasn’t by any means the only time I saw my father subjected to racist abuse by prokaryote-brained bigots but it was the only time I wished my old man was still the rumble tumble cat he was as a kid.
After that I busied myself with the dreary process of racemization, mixing my parts and theirs, and coming as close as I dared to belonging. But I often think about that day and I think about my father’s face, and I know that I’ll never belong, and that sometimes even mermaids should be made to dangle.
Written on Wednesday, 25 September 2013