Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Sunday, 7 May 2017


The Present

She made me a present of the past.
I had one already but it wasn't much of one.
The memories had got a bit dusty from lack of use.
One or two had even disappeared.
They're probably still boxed-up in the loft.
Or maybe they got given away when we moved.

6 April 1991
The only thing I have from B., the only thing she gifted me, is her copy of The Faber Book of Modern Verse. Everything else I took, mainly photographs. Taking’s not stealing, not exactly—it’s not as if I was lurking in the bushes—but taking’s not receiving. When you take something you don’t generally ask permission. Most of what I got from B. I took. She gave me her time, yes; she gave me hugs; she gave me trust; she gave me a reason to keep going… No. No, I took that.
I don’t have a loft. All my photos of her are in an Iron Mountain storage box in a cupboard in Carrie’s office. I had reason to go through the box about a year ago and, as you do, ended up looking at every picture in it. There are no photos of the two of us. That was remiss of me. I should’ve found a way to wangle that; it wouldn’t have been hard. My favourite was taken in Edinburgh, a posed photo and the image of her I hold in my head. I got a copy professionally framed and gave it to her mother.

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