29 July 2016

Skeletons in the cupboard

Who wants to know about the scandal or unhappy secret that lurk behind the family name?
Why should the sharing of the things we would sooner forget, be discouraged?
The vagaries, misfortunes, and scandals that touch most of us. Irresistible to some, taboo to others, spoken of in whispered tones, be between only those we trust.
Someone close opens with the line: "You won't repeat this will you"? At which point the ears prick up, the smile vanishes and a furtive glance accompanies some saga from the past; confessions even, spawned of guilt that we would hesitantly share or strenuously deny.
Yet these real skeletons somehow define us, assuming an importance at least as great as the proud moments we are more comfortable sharing.
What is it I am brave or reckless enough to share, already doubting the wisdom of this post? Perhaps the better solution would be to weave this rag bag of bones into a work of embellished more easily manipulated fiction.

Here only the names are changed - all else is bald fact.

Luke had an affair with his secretary that cost him a few thousand pounds to extricate himself at the point of no return, when his wife discovered the inevitable tell tale sign in his pocket, a clumsy oversight on his part, but one which Lorna was generous enough to overlook and many a lady would have not have been able to forgive. There were mitigating circumstances that revolved around his health and her financial security.
Norman is a blood relative too close for comfort who frittered away his good fortune on a string of dalliances with the fairer sex, and yet his partners all seemed to forgive him, and some I have since met. All remember him with a fondness and curiosity . Quite out of the blue, just this month I met another, keen to learn of his relationship with me (sharing the same surname as we do).
Tragic Anthony was less fortunate and destroyed by a bereft family who lost a son in a boating accident.  Their son drowned just offshore, while his friend Anthony swam to safety, only to later take his own life, unable to live with the sequence of events, later feelings of guilt, and a tirade of accusations.
Willy was a policeman who plodded the streets of Newton Abbot for years, but never arrested anyone during his lifetime's employment in the force.
Whalley was a furnisher, quite tall, heavily built, and well accustomed to shifting heavy wooden items about his showroom. Not knowing his own strength he once broke a finger of his dear  wife's little hand. His life cut short on the thirteenth hole of Teignmouth golf course at the age of 53. Not destined to make old bones, a heart attack it was that carried him off. 

Robert was a more distant relative who lived a bus ride away from my grandfather, and would sometimes call unannounced and help himself to coffee.  Once I was on hand to witness the way this rude and burly gent made himself at home. I had the task (as I saw it) to put across spontaneous words of warning, in defense of my Grandfather's larder.

The telling might not have closed here, but the curtains draw down because those tales have not yet run their course; not white enough to qualify as skeletons and old bones.

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