There was this one time when we were all on holiday down South. In a fishing village down South. There was this band playing. Well, fisherman singing sea shanties. My dad bought me a pint and another for himself, which was not a normal situation for us to be in. He would always say that two pints gave him a headache, and I always made fun of him for it.
The sun was setting and we were about half way down our pints. I was telling him something about my degree, probably something about how the Modernists had changed English writing after the war, how they had shaken up the old system.
He made a face as if he was very impressed and I remember him telling me:
“Maybe I could have been clever if I’d had the opportunity.”
And at that time I forgot about the Modernists and became completely absorbed by him. Orange from the sunset lit his face and carved a semi-glint through his dark pint. He looked out to the sea.