67

The father turns 67 today.

I hope he got a hair cut and some hair dye for the occasion.

It’s a day to be thankful for better health. We received reports that he has lessened his nicotine intake😀 No more sneaking cigarette sessions. Not that he received scolding for that. The joke is that he may have such high value his new set of dentures that he wouldn’t want his pearly  whites tarnished with tar. Whatever the reason is, we’re happy that he took the initiative to smoke less. We have no dreams that he’d quit smoking completely. The withdrawal syndrome would depress him.

The father hates being photographed. You’d get photos but usually, he’s a blur. It’s that or you don’t see his face. He says he’s too thin or too something else. Someone unwilling to be photographed. A photographer’s nightmare.

A photo of him in focus and smiling is something of a family treasure. It’s one of those very few chances one gets. And when he’s generous with the smiles, he’s drunk. So the trick is to get a photo when he’s gotten some alcohol in him😀

The only time he’s gracious with words is when they’re slurred during his sleep and during some serious alcohol session. For most cases, it’s white noise one gets from him. When I’m home, I try to join him in silence. It’s like there’s this competition on who’d manage to survive the silence longer. The words are awkward. Sentences are short. Topics change in every sentence. It really doesn’t matter, I guess. It’s really just the presence one wants.

His lanky figure’s usually bent over the butaka for some reading or over the work table repairing something. The place never runs out of things for repair.

I look up to him -literally and figuratively. He’s quite tall. It felt like being walked by a giant during the early elementary years. It’s always amusing to see how he’d curl his back to fit himself at the back of a tricycle whenever he commutes.

 

A man of very few words (the master of wordless conversations), corny jokes (delivered straight-faced), and bearer of the great umba recipe. That’s Padires.

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