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Jan, the man.

I have quite an awkward relationship with my Dad, for a long time after my parents divorce I found it difficult, in fact my mother forgave him a long time before I did. But in the last few years we have started to get on better, he remembers to call me from time to time and I remember he is human. Actually if I am honest I think he likes me more now that he can talk football with Mr. Rigby. You see my Dad is a very shy, quiet man who once told me that he hated the fact that he could never start a conversation with anyone.

It is shame he is so quiet though because he can be wickedly funny and has some great stories to tell. He is completely deaf in one ear (parachuting with no protection will do that to you) and often seems like he is not listening. That is because he isn’t. He is probably doing one of his absolute most favourite things. People watching. Except he doesn’t just watch he makes up entire lives for the people he is spying on.

For example, this weekend while he was visiting me in the Dam we met up with friends for a glass of wine. It is a busy bar and my Dad was having difficulty hearing so he decided as he could not hear much of what people were saying he would have a good gawk at the clientele instead.

A man sitting on his own near the door caught his eye. The man had on a floral shirt and tank top (Dad thought the overall ensemble worked but was not keen on the floral shirt) and good shoes (always approved of by Dad) The man, let us call him Jan, was sitting behind us with a bunch of flowers and two glasses of wine. When a table became available Jan hopped up gathering his flowers and wine and raced for a seat on the terrace. At which point my dad announced to everyone that that man was right on the verge of being stood up. He said Jan was obviously very nervous and that the girl/guy was not going to show up. He told me that it was probably very hard on Jan as he was getting older and dating was difficult game. Then my Dad turned to face me and said “Oh I really hope his date shows up, I don’t think he gets too many dates and he has tried so hard”.

Then his date did show up, a tall fancy looking blonde. My dad was very happy and declared that Jan had done very well for himself. Conversation moved to football and finally my dad had an ” in” so he started to chat and with that he was back with us and Jan was forgotten.

Still I couldn’t help giving Jan a little smile of encouragement as we left.

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