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Dad Gets His Throat Cut

'Dad Gets His Throat Cut' Acrylic on canvas board 20 by 30cm

It's funny but when I started this series of paintings from odd memories, I wrote down loads of ideas and yet I'd forgotten all about this even though my first painting in this series was of my dad. It was only when I was painting the previous painting which was set in the same bedsit that this memory popped into my head and I thought 'how did I forget that'.

My dad used to hang out with all sorts of characters, there would always be weird people popping by for a drink during the day and some would stay and drink all night.

I remember when I heard he'd had his throat cut, I don't remember being particularly shocked or upset by it, I was like, 'OK, is he dead?'

He wasn't, he made it through.

I went around to see him not long after. He had been cut from ear to ear. it was a giant thick cut. He had Frankenstein's monster like stitches, big metal staples all across his neck and you could see bit of pink flesh bubbling between them. He was black and blue and yellow and green from the neck down, all the way down his chest and arms.

He was very jokey about the situation saying things about losing his head or having a sore throat or whatever.

He related what had happened. His friends had all been around drinking, he always referred to his friends by letters preceded by Mr, like Mr C or Mr B. A few had been around and then left and there was just Billy Jean, himself and Mr whoever, I can't remember his name left in the bedsit. They'd all been drinking all day.

Billy Jean passed out on the bed, he passed out on the couch. The next thing he remembers is being woken up by having his throat cut. The guy was naked on top of him, he'd slit my dad's throat and then stabbed him up through under his chin. My dad nearly cut all the way through his fingers trying to pull the knife out.

Then the guy looked all of a sudden like he came to his senses and realised what he was doing, he let out a scream and ran out of the flat.

Apparently then he called and ambulance and the police and handed himself in.

My dad said the funny thing was that there were no clothes left in his bedsit so the guy must have gone home, got undressed then come back naked.

It turns out that special brew did not agree with the guy, that's all he'd been drinking and he totally lost the plot.

My dad made another joke 'I must have been snoring or something and pissed him off'.

I didn't see my dad for quite a while after that but the next time I went to see him was quite weird.

Usually when I rang the bell, the window would open and my dad would throw the keys down, this time though I heard someone running down the stairs. The front door opened and the guy who'd cut my dad's throat was standing there and said 'awright ya decadent student' in his Birmingham accent.

I was like 'awright, how are you?' and he said 'much better thanks' and started walking up the stairs.

I remember following him up the dark stairs in this murky house and thinking, he could have killed my dad and I could be going up to a room where he was going to try and kill me too. I remember not being worried and thinking how I'd punch him in his throat or kick him in his nuts.

It turns out he hadn't killed my dad as he was sat there.

We all smoked cigarettes and talked pleasantries and the guy got up to leave.

Once he'd gone I looked at my dad and said 'What the fuck?'

he laughed and said 'I know'.

I said 'I thought he'd still be in prison'

My dad went on to tell me that the fella had never gone to prison but to a mental hospital and he'd got better and been released. He said that his friends brought the guy round and were beating up in the middle of the room and he was crying and my dad felt sorry for him and said that's enough and forgave him.

He said 'it's not like it was his fault, he'd lost the plot'

I said 'fair enough' and we cracked open some beers.

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