Mar. 9th, 2016

Back when I was at school, some shitty things happened, as a result of which I was judged to be a pernicious and dangerous moral influence. This wasn't actually as fun as it sounds and there were only a few people who thought my company was worth risking. We'll call one of them John. When he was about 16, John came out. His parents didn't take well to this and, because they couldn't have raised someone gay, decided it must have been my influence. As I understand it, they tried to get the headmaster to expel me. He refused. Now we were told regularly during assembly - sometimes even by people other than him - that our headmaster was a man of high moral values and rectitude. So we'll assume his refusal was nothing to do with the fact that my parents paid full fees and John's didn't. Anyway, John and family moved away - Telford or some such place - and we lost touch, largely because his parents were vile and it just wasn't worth the effort.

I had a text this morning from John's parents reading as follows.

As you'll know John killed himself last Thursday. The funeral is tomorrow. If you've any shame over what you made him into, you'll stay away.

Now there's an entire history there. I hadn't thought of John in nearly 30 years. His parents have obviously thought of me quite a lot and - well - maybe assume I've been keeping some kind of watch over him. Or something. It's all beyond me. As is who they got my mobile number from. Anyway, presumably they're worried that I'm going to turn up at John's funeral and be a pernicious influence. Good. They bloody deserve it. Needless to say, I'm not going. John was a nice chap who I talked Doctor Who and cricket with nearly three decades ago and also quite fancied. For obvious reasons, he's not going to be there tomorrow and frankly his family aren't worth the sweat off my dog Spike's non-existent balls. So fuck them. The sole difference their spiteful little message made is that I now suspect that they hounded their son to kill himself and I actively despise them for it.

This post has been brought to you by a sense of despairing bewilderment and the letters F and U.

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James Brough

July 2017

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