An uneven silence.
Mornings, when I came to visit my father, were always the same. He’d sit in his chair reading the newspaper. I’d come and sit in the other armchair and read whatever caught my eye, a book, a discarded section of his paper or in later years something on ny phone.
The room would be silent, broken only by the turn of the page or other people elsewhere in the house, my stepmum in the kitchen cooking bacon buns for breakfast or the kids in the back room watching tv or arguing about whose turn it was on the computer.
Occasionally the silence would be broken, one of us would speak, I’d ask him his view on something in the news, usually chosen for maximum reaction or he’d ask me if i’d seen such and such a movie or heard of so and so the singer. A discussion would ensue, views would be exchanged and then the silence would descend once again.
As I sit here this morning in my usual place I stare across at the empty chair opposite and though the same silence fills the room it’s an empty uneven one.