Jail. Only saw my dad once a month, too far to travel. He used to tell me funny stories, keep his mind off the grim reality of life inside. Never gave me a chance, either, to relate how the family were doing, what they felt about losing him.
My mind travelled, not really listening to him. Noticing the regulars at other tables. The fat woman with red hair, always in blue sweats with white stripes down the sides, green laced trainers. Talking non stop to the thin man with the hollowed pale cheeks and ginger hair combed over his balding scalp. Don't think I ever heard him speak. And the black guy with the shaking hands and incoherent speech, obviously sitting opposite his twin.
There were many others I noticed in detail, memorised and took home with me to write up in the journal.
I looked up just in time to see dad say goodbye and stand up ready to walk away.
One day I'd get him to listen to me.