He had an eye for a very straight line and an ear for a place for a joke but a very odd eye for colour and so in The Year Two Thousand he insisted to my mother that our house be painted blue and said something about a robin's egg but it looked more like the pool on Windmill Hill and we scoffed and laughed but he insisted that He Knew Best and he climbed the ladder every day until it was done.
The bathroom taps are transparent fuschia and the trim is Cadbury purple but he'd have thought these are colours that women like and this shall be a haven for Ellie with her rollers and her Nivea whatsits and those soaps that smell like flowers or at least that's how I imagine it happening some fifteen years ago when he was strong and here.
He turned fifteen in '51 and received a signet ring all for himself with his double R initials engraved royally in the front but I bet he didn't know that one day in the next century he'd have a granddaughter who would be Mostly All Grown Up who would dutifully pay one hundred and eighty five dollars so that that very same ring would be whole again and she could wear it to carry him and all his story with her all the time.
I have this urge to shake a shake of Old Spice talcum powder on the sleeve of my t-shirt so that I might be sung to sleep by a smell that might confuse me when it says he's here somewhere close by but if I did I'd be concerned that I might do it all the time and become one of those weird folk who bury their faces in wishes.
It's nearly July which really takes my breath away because this is the first year in seventy somethin' that will start and end without him but before this year is over I will stand in London where he once stood when he guarded the Queen and it's the very same Queen and the very same ground and quite a great deal of the very same blood so somehow that comes full-circle and that's okay by me.