Academic journal article Hecate

Frommontage

Academic journal article Hecate

Frommontage

Article excerpt

The open album stares back at me. Defiant.

A photograph of my father.

The photographer captured, framed, off centre.

Black and white.

The middle aged father belly no longer fat, protrudes over the top of pants, a spilling over. Hair greying on the edges, suit and tie, dressed up father.

This photograph has the markings of an occasion.

I can see myself in his face, in the slant of the eyes, brown eyes, in the shape of full lips, in the grip of hand on waist.

Close to my father? Ever? I don't know, must have been once, a long time ago. There is no memory of it, no image comes to mind, no incident, no event.

Another photograph, slightly out of focus. Father stands next to mother, they are in their thirties. He stands tall reaching over her, stands straight broad shoulders, the urge to lean on him overwhelms me. For the first time in years there is a desire to talk to him; tear falls and wipe it with the back of my hand, a habit learned from mother. I remember that I don't like my father, never liked him. I shut the album and wonder where the tears come from.

The album is his family history. A history coloured and distorted. A quick turning of the pages. My family through his eyes is not my family. Not the family I remember. A well dressed, well behaved smiling family. There are no photographs of Aunt Maree, banished long ago for sexual exploits unnamed; mother's parents appear only in group shots. There are no photographs of Anna or I with boyfriends . …

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