It's almost seven years I'm in exile now, scared to return for fear of what they'll do to me if caught. But God, what I'd do to share just one last crack-pipe with you, or to wait at the window with the jitters, watching for a car to pull up and a small hooded black boy to get out and stroll over our way, through the front gate and ring the buzzer: 21b
My great fear is that we'll never see one another in life again. It's an unbearable thought and one which plagues my dreams, and without warning can make the world seem like a cruel and insufferable place. And maybe it is? Like when we speak on the telephone and say "Buh Bye!" and your voice makes me hurt and cry like I have growing pains. It's been a hard life and it blew us apart.
And that £20 note which you sent me for Christmas - that which you didn't really have to send, and that which I have no need of - I've put it between dog-chewed books of dead poets, the greatest tragedy I have. Oh it's cruel to keep it, I know, but I can't send it back as that'd be too sad, and it's worth far too much to spend. And we both know what twenty pounds signifies, how at times we didn't have that between three of us, and we laid on our backs in our house of sickness, dying. Do you remember? How you cried, said your body couldn't take it, and could I do nothing to help? But I was in pain too and could hardly walk, and my illness was a day older than yours. Do you remember? I do. It seems like a good memory now.
Oh Mum, I'm being punished. My punishment is exile. It's already been seven years, can you believe that? It's a huge price to pay, to not be there in the last years of your health and beauty and probably mine too. Oh Mum, how expensive life is when you fuck up, and it's worse, and it's hopeless, and it hurts even more, because we both know, and we've always known, I'm as guilty as all sin in hell.
In Loving Memory to a Mother Without Fault, Your adoring Son, Shane. XxX