Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Voyage Round My Father's Head #3

Father: I'm phoning to see if you'd like to join us for lunch?
Daughter: Are you in the car?
Father: About 1 o'clock.
Daughter: You shouldn't use your phone when you're driving.
Father: I thought we'd eat in Wilmslow.
Daughter: I'm in bed.
Father: Still?
Daughter: I had an operation then had 'flu, remember?
Father: That was last week.
Daughter: And I'm not allowed to drive for two weeks.
Father: You take after your mother. I'm never ill. (BEAT) So you're not coming for lunch?
Daughter: Not this time.
Father: I've been to Fleetwood today.
Daughter: Why?
Father: I'll just pass you onto someone.
Daughter: I'm -
Father: You haven't spoken to her for thirty years!
Daughter: Maybe another time. (BEAT). Dad?
Daughter: Hello?
Woman (VERY WELL-SPOKEN): Hello? Hello, is that Claire?
Daughter (SLOWLY): Yes...?
Woman: It's Vee, darling!
Daughter: Vee?
Woman: Vee Bentham.
Daughter: Vee...
Woman: Your father's very kindly taking me to the airport. I'm flying back to London.
Daughter: Auntie Vivi!
Woman : No-one's called me that for years, sweetie. Now then, when did I last see you?
Daughter: Er, 1979...?
Woman: Of course! Then you moved back north.
Daughter: Yes. Gosh, Vee...
Woman (BRISKLY): You know I can't picture you at all.
Daughter: Oh?
Woman: Turn left here, darling. Your father says you were the bossy one.
Daughter: I was the eldest.
Woman: There were two of you?
Daughter: Three. Two boys and a girl.
Woman: And which were you?
Daughter: Er...
Woman: Apparently you were very plump.
Father (SHOUTING): She ate so many biscuits I told her she'd pop!
Daughter: I was tall. I had long, brown hair.
Woman: No, it's not coming to me. It's just down here, sweetie.
Daughter (EAGER): I have a very strong memory of you though.
Woman: Have you, darling?
Daughter (ENTHUSIASTICALLY): Yes, it was when you were taking Lucy back to boarding school.
Woman: Yes?
Daughter: You took me in the car for company on the way back. You had Radio 3 on -
Woman: It's gone off a bit, Radio 3.
Daughter: I was in the front seat. We ate barley sugars and talked about all sorts of things. I felt so grown up. It was very dark, all these windy roads with high hedges -
Woman: Oh, yes! The school was in Devon. Dreadful place.
Daughter: Suddenly there was a badger caught in the car's headlights. It's the only time I've ever seen a badger. I wrote a poem about it.
Woman: A badger!
Daughter: It's a very vivid memory.
Woman: How funny! (BEAT). I have no recollection of that at all.
Daughter (SHOCKED): Oh.
Woman (BREEZILY): Amazing! There we are, moving through life making tremendous impressions on other people. People we don't even remember! How funny!
Daughter: Yes.
Woman: I'll pass you back to your father. It was lovely speaking to you, Catherine.
Father: A blast from the past, hey?
Daughter: Yes.
Father: Shame you can't join us for lunch.
Daughter: Yes -
Father: More material for the book!
Daughter: Dad? (BEAT). Dad?


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