If we were having coffee right now…
…well for a start it would be tea, since it’s the afternoon. With a properly warmed pot bearing a cosy, china cup and saucer for you, milk in first. We would have the usual back and forth about letting it brew til it’s strong enough to not be helped out of the cup, and you’d say ‘bless you’ when I handed it over and drink it immediately. Most people have to wait til their cup of tea is cooler than 90 degrees but not you.
We’d talk about the family, and how everyone was doing. I’d have to remind you occasionally which child belongs to which of your grandchildren, but you’d get it with a minor memory jog.
We’d joke about something a bit rude and naughty in a music hall sort of way. You might start telling me a joke which sounds like it’s going to be funny, and then you’d forget the punchline and that would be even funnier.
Maybe we’d finish our tea and play a round of dominos, or cards, or do a jigsaw. Or we’d go through the phone book and pick out all the funniest sounding names and make ourselves giggle so much we cry.
So much has happened since you pottered off. We’ve bought a house. There’s still loads to do to it, but I think you’d like it. I liked it because it reminded me of your house. We’ve got the same sort of bedroom doors, and the back kitchen used to be the same size. It’s bigger now, I’ve got a kitchen diner – aren’t I posh?
I’d tell you all about how I’m doing at work, and about joining the local running club and making new friends in my community. You’d be pleased about that, and we’d talk about your cycling club days with Grandad and compare notes. I don’t think you would understand the concept of Garmins or wicking fabric for exercise gear. I suppose you’re right, they’re a waste of money really, but I like them so there we go.
You’d laugh at me but be secretly pleased that whenever I struggle during a difficult run I think of you, grit my teeth and just get on and get it done. You’d be dead proud that I carried a picture of you around the Rome marathon, and you’d tell all your friends when they drop by to see you.
Maybe we’d eat some pink wafers or Burbage biscuits and put the radio on – some Mario Lanza perhaps, or Georges Guetary singing about his Belle Marguerite. And we’d waltz and spin around the tiny dining room, laughing and singing until it’s time for more tea. Which wouldn’t be long.
And I wouldn’t have to tell you how much I miss you everyday, because you’d still be here.