Saturday, 2 May 2009

You can keep your melancholy and fuck right off with your infinite sadness too.

The melancholic waiter lumbered towards the perky threesome as if he was carrying more on his shoulders than in his hands. His graceful shimmying between tables had given way to laboured and heavy movements and for a larger chap it is indeed a remarkably dexterous dance that he normally weaves. It was if the weight on his shoulders was pushing down on him with a pressure he couldn't bear. He was a pitiful sight.

As he got to the table he made an abject attempt to force a smile and raise his voice above the gleeful din of the three ladies seated under him. But his, "Excuse me ladies" was as morose as it was impotent. He faked a cough, probably not what you want from a waiter all things considered.

One of the ladies looked up at the sullen faced plate schlepper and after taking a glug of her wine announced to her friends that the food was ready.

"Now ladies, who's having the ribeye tonight?" He could have been Death incarnate offering one of them sweet repose such was his monotone delivery. They never noticed. One of them squealed. But no one noticed the waiter's gloomy disposition. He placed the steak in front of the squealingly excited lady.

"And the pork?", asked the waiter again employing the same life sucking, doom hued voice as before.

"PORK?", screamed the loudest of the ladies as she stared at the plate of belly pork with fear. It was all very reminiscent of the mid 1990's, thought the waiter, when people looked at plates of beef in much the same way as they look at Gary Glitter - fond memories but never again.

"Aye, I'm having the pork....what's yer problem Trish?" Goodbye joyful camaraderie and jolly japes and hello defensive stand off. Normally such a to-do would tickle the waiter's fancy but not tonight. He just wanted to set down the food and flee to his hiding place where there were no people and no reason to have have to force a smile, no matter how pathetic it was.

"There's nothing wrong with the pork. I've had it here loadsa times. It's totally delish Trish." She let out an exuberant laugh as she realised she was the next Pam Ayers. Or maybe not.

"But what about the swine....". But she never finished the sentence as the waiter plonked, with an uncharacteristic lack of class and flourish, the risotto in front of her.

"The swine? He's at home watching football.....he can get his own."

And the three of them fell about with laughter. Big laughs, big big laughs. The sort of laughter that disappears for a moment only to come crashing back round your ears again as they are forced to take breath. Maybe she was the new Pam Ayers.

As the waiter walked away from the table he chuckled to himself. He was suddenly aware that he hadn't as much as smiled in four days let alone let out a chuckle.

Life is short, too short for morose thoughts and melancholy. Life should be celebrated and as one large life is coming to a premature and untimely and god damn fuck it unfair end the waiter realised that he needed to do just that, celebrate it. There will be time for tears soon enough but for now lets just revel in the life of a man who never spent a second feeling sorry for himself.

My father has been given a couple of months left to live. It's a short time for sure but I assure you it will be filled with more laughter than tears.

48 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Anonymous said...

Sorry guy...

Anonymous said...

I was cut off by accident. What I was trying to say was: Sorry, guy- been there done that. Just spend whatever time you can with him.

Manuel said...

anonymous: cheers....that's the plan....what else is there eh?

sassysundry said...

I'm really sorry to hear that, Manuel. I'll be thinking of you.

Manuel said...

cheers sassy....but don't feel sad or sorry for me....I have an opportunity that a lot of people don't get....I get to say and maybe do the things with my father/family before it's too late.....

Boxer said...

I wasn't able to say goodbye to my Mother, I was able to say goodbye to my other Mother (in law) It's a gift and I'm glad you're aware of it.

xoxo to you both. I'll raise one tonight for you.

Belfast Barista said...

I'm sorry to hear that man, at least you'll still get the chance to spend some quality time with him.

Medbh said...

Fuck.
Manuel, I had a feeling that something wrong was happening.
Fuck.
Stay strong while you help him rid the mortal coil.
Our warmest thoughts to you and the family.

MJ said...

In retrospect, I'm glad that I had the time before she died to tell my mother what a fabulous woman she was and what a great mum she'd been.

I still get tears in my eyes when I think of her (like right now) but it's important for both of you to share such intimate moments.

Here's to the man who gave us Manuel!

ninetyninewords said...

That's not so good.
Anything I write will sound glib or crass no matter how hard I try to make it otherwise.
But be assured the thoughts are there even if the words aren't.

Pete in Az said...

This may sound stupid, but, have you recorded any stories or memories your father has?



just a thought.

Sooz said...

Manuel darling, I'm so sorry to hear that.... but spend the time the best you can, tell him everything you want to and make it the best it can be. My thoughts are with all of you, I know how tough a time it is- you know where I am if you need me....

The Mutant said...

I'm sorry to hear that Manuel. I'll be thinking of you - I can't express properly how frightening this must be, but know that us readers are thinking of you.

One of the joys of blogging is that you develop a familiarity with people you'd otherwise have no exposure to, and those people laugh and cry along with you.

Stay strong - I know how frightening the future might seem, but don't let it topple you. we've got your back should you need it.

wendy said...

Cheers, Manuel. Deep breaths, laughs and love. ..and all my best to you.

Echo said...

I'm sorry for what you're going through. I was 20 when we found out my dad only had months to live. For me it was the best/worst of times. Because we knew time was limited, nothing was left unsaid between us. Between the tears and sadness we shared incredibly wonderful moments, including lots of laughter.

My only regret is that there are family stories lost forever because I didn't think to ask about them.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Manuel my thoughts are with you.Spend as much time as you can with him. My father passed on when I was in Switzerland and when I finally did hear of it cause I was away a few days he was already getting buried.I wish he was here now , fuck me.........

Old Knudsen said...

What a total cunty thing to happen considering yer recent loss. I'm caught up with my own drama but yers beats it hands doon, I'm sorry.

Now let me get this straight Gary Glitter was a pedo because he ate mad beef?

rubbishknitter said...

ah, Manuel - that's awful news. So sorry to hear that. I lost both parents as a teenager so I understand your pain. Not much I can say really except that I'm thinking of you... look after yourself mister...

Betty said...

Oh, Manuel, I'm so sorry. What utter shit. I'll be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

Wow You just lost your mom and now ur father. I'm sorry man

Native Minnow said...

I am so sorry to hear that news. My ex lost her mom a few years ago. They got the news, and had about a month to say goodbye. Their family was/is rather dysfunctional, so it was good they got the notice. I think having the time to come back together made it easier for them when the time finally came. Not easy, just easier. Like others have said, at least you have some time to prepare and say goodbye, so at least you can be grateful for that. I know that's an incredibly thin silver lining on this dark cloud.

gimme a minute said...

Jesus, some year. Thinking of you here.

livesbythewoods said...

It's all been said. Do what you're doing, spend as much time sharing memories with your dad as you can, and enjoy every day that you have together.

Ms. McDermott said...

Sorry Manuel, so so sorry.

sugarpie said...

Ugh. Sorry to hear that. I hope you know lots of people are holding you in their thoughts right now.

Good on you for taking the laughs when you can.

Tuesday Kid said...

Everyone's making swine flu jokes like you haven't heard them all five minutes ago for the past week. Really sorry to hear about your dad mate. Thinking of you.

White Rabbit said...

Manuel I'm so sorry about your Dad. Everything that can be said has been said. You will get through this. Thinking of you

mapstew said...

Tough times ahead. I wish you strength.

Michelle said...

So sorry Manuel. I'll be thinking of you and yours....

american.eejit said...

Fuck, Manuel...

purplegirl said...

I'm so sorry, Manuel. I can't imagine having to make nice with people at a time like this.

Frank B said...

I think you have it right: focus on the here and now, because that is where life is. Nothing will make it easier, but you seem to have the answer to not making it worse.

Daily Spud said...

Oh Manuel, hope you have some happy and laughter-filled times with your father in the next few months, in spite of the aching sadness.

Tessa said...

I'm so sorry, Manuel. It's good that you'll get to spend some time with your Dad.

carine said...

Manuel, what shitty shitty news. And my recent absence means that I have also just discovered you've recently lost your Mum, I'm so sorry. Look after yourselves xx

waxydan said...

Christ, what a year.

Everyone's thoughts are with you.

Jennynib said...

Manuel,

My heart goes out to you. My uncle is in the same situation and we're making the best of whatever time we have left.

My Aunt will be alone when he dies, as they had no children. She tries hard to push the fear of her upcoming sorrow as far away as possible, so as not to miss or waste the precious time she has left with her husband.

We are none of us promised a tomorrow, Manuel. Celebrate your todays with your family as best you can.

My very warmest wiahes and prayers are with you and all your family.

Jenny XX

jen said...

So sorry to hear this, Manuel. Hope you get to spend some good times with your dad. Thinking of you.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Keep yersels smiling together pal.

ellie said...

I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about your Father. I hadn't known about your Mother passing either. I'm so sorry for all your trouble. My thoughts are with you and your sister. I can't imagine how you are feeling, still my heart goes out to you both. Look after each other.

savannah said...

you have my heart, sugar! xoxox for you and your sister. the coconut krewe is thinking of you!

The Hangar Queen said...

Hey fella,
I hope brevity will suffice when eloquence fails.

We're keeping you close.

Twenty Major said...

Cripes. All the best, dude.

Sharon said...

So very sorry to hear this. Thinking of you and hoping the time you have together is filled with as much joy as possible.

sadi said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your father.

My father in law passed last fall, and we tried to laugh as much as we could with him in his last months.

May you be blessed with strength, laughter and comfort during this difficult time.

Ponita in Real Life said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this, Manuel. Both my parents are gone too. My dad I was there for but lived far away when my mum went. I regret not being there with her. Love him up real good. Big warm hugs whenever you need them....

Rhon said...

I lost my dad to lung cancer in Aug 07. For months I knew it was coming but I left so much unsaid because I thought I had more time. Don't make that mistake. Say the hard stuff now then enjoy the good times that follow.

Penelope_CA said...

I recently lost a friend to cancer. We knew we only had months to live. Whilst it was a terribly sad time, she also drew friends together from across the country when she took a turn for the worse and we realised we'd lose her sooner than expected.

Being able to say our goodbyes to her whilst remembering good times brought laughter mixed in with the tears. I swear I never laughed so hard. It was both terrible and beautiful, the most difficult emotional thing I ever went through and yet also the most life and love affirming and brought the surviving circle closer.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones. May my experience offer some small comfort during this difficult time. Peace be with you...