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There were mitigating circumstances – you
have to trust me on this – for why I set out
to bludgeon my father to death in a pub.
But the facts of the matter don’t matter now;
I went to the wrong pub, and Dad’s still alive.

You probably think I’m bullshitting you, right?
Imagine his reaction when I told him:
that I’d planned to snatch at the nearest object,
a bottle or ashtray (pubs still had those then),
and stove in his skull till he lay unconscious,

or till someone pulled me off of him. We were
in a pub that day, too, talking of our past
as though it happened to two other people.
And when we parted, later, I couldn’t help
feeling like I’d just spent the day with his ghost.