Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Sound Of Fury

Were you ever scared of your pals' da's? I was. Mr P. in our close, whose daughters I played with, was a rough man who'd never look the road you were on, but pity help you if you crossed him.
His daughters were all frightened of him too, especially as they'd get leathered with his belt, frequently.
One night around teatime, we were out the back and had got hold of a long tree branch.
A few of us were holding it, struggling together to keep it upright, and for some crazy reason we started to tap Mr P.'s kitchen window. Surely we must not have counted on him being home.
The roar that resounded as the window flew open in a fury was loud enough to be heard in genteel Kelvindale.
We dropped the branch like a lead cannonball and ran for cover, hearts thumping and stomachs churning.

Today, I hear just such a roar again.
A da accompanies his little daughter along Govan Road. He's pushing a bike and she's trailing a dolly and a bag. He's urging her to hurry up a bit, and stop walking on the sides of her wellies. Come on now. Come on.
As they approach me, he turns round and calls to a boy who's 100 yards behind.
A harsher voice this time, "Will you get yourself moving and get up here next to me. Move it!"
The boy is 7, in school uniform and carrying a school bag. He's kind of crying; moaning, cos he's tired and can't be bothered.
They go a bit further and stop again. The da has his hands full. Neither child is making much progress and he's cajoling the wee girl and struggling to pull her along with one hand while steadying the bike with the other.
Without any warning, he turns around to his son and roars at the top of his voice with an unholy curse and unfeigned fury. The noise is chilling. Sets your stomach churning again. The child has almost caught up but at this, he freezes and shrinks back a little.
The da turns and walks on. He's not a young da, more of a square built, cannot be bothered older da. We are level with each other but he doesn't look the road I am on.
A few yards behind the child passes me and his sobs catch in his throat and his fear and sorrow lie deep and sore.

1 comment:

Ellen said...

That's got to me, that one.