I am sitting under the comforting low-light of a table-lamp, while in the corner of the room the television sparkles. My daughter is sitting tight against the sofa-arm, knees drawn up to her chest, thumb in mouth. Her eyes are fixed to the screen as a dancer sweeps from corner to corner in perfect princess circles. I am next to her, arm around her shoulders, also lost in TV half-life. Brucie smiles in the LCD brightness, performing with comforting, barely-remembered ease. My daughter reaches her hand towards me. “Daddy, I like holding hands with you.” she says. I smile and squeeze her fingers tightly.
“I wish Bruce was your daddy and then he could come and make jokes and we could all laugh.”
“Me too” I say, smiling again. I can’t begin to know how to reply to her sometimes. She’d like me to have a father and she’s a little disturbed that I no longer have one. If I think hard I can remember life in flannel pyjamas too. Small things are big, big things don’t exist and everything is simple.
“Daddy…” she says
“Maybe you can ask for Christmas.”