Jeremy Clarke Jeremy Clarke

Low Life | 28 February 2009

Please get in touch

My boy has stopped returning my calls and texts. The other day I called him 18 times in a row, from sheer frustration to begin with, then as a joke, to make him smile when he looked at his phone and saw that it said he has 18 missed calls. I’ve given up leaving messages. Is this what happens with your kids? You think you’re best friends, then crash! The shutters come down — and for no apparent reason.

If I knew where my boy lived, I’d go round and knock on the door and ask him what’s happened, what’s gone wrong between us. But he’s taken infinite care not to divulge his address. It’s top secret.

The last time we spoke was just before Christmas. He’d rung, asking for a lift somewhere because his car was broken down. ‘What’s your address?’ I said, hoping for initiation at last. He wouldn’t say. It would be much easier for me, he said, if I met him outside the Spar shop. ‘It’s no trouble,’ I said. ‘Tell me where you live. I’ll find it.’ But he didn’t fall for it. ‘I’ve got a headache,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to go to the shop anyway to get some paracetamol.’

I was already parked and waiting when he turned up outside the Spar shop. He was wearing my leather jacket. ‘Aren’t you going to get your paracetamol?’ I said, as he got into the car. His headache had gone off, he said. I wanted to tell him that I loved him and missed him and how happy I was to see him again. But all I said was, ‘I was wondering where that coat had gone.’ It was the last time I saw him.

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