You kept your apps in alphabetical order. All of them. Weirdo.
Why is WhatsApp four screens away? Absolute nerd.
You knew every word to every song by Belle and Sebastian.
No more “Piazza New York Catcher” singalongs. Our song. Sunshine and parks. Rants about work stress. The soundtrack to four months of dad jokes on BBM when you were getting divorced.
Elope with me, Miss Private and we’ll sail around the worldPiazza New York Catcher – Belle and Sebastian
I will be you Ferdinand and you my wayward girl
How many nights of talking in hotel rooms can you take?
How many nights of limping round of pagan holidays?
Oh elope with me in private and we’ll set something ablaze
A trail for the devil to erase
San Francisco’s calling us…
San Francisco’s calling us…
Fuck. Did you move to San Francisco because of our song? Am I only clocking into your romantic, stupid notion now you are dead? Typing out the lyrics to our song because I miss you and want the world to know you and realising when you begged me to get a job in America and come live next door so we can eat dinner everyday and I can save your daughter from your cooking… you moved to San Francisco… Why can’t I ask you if this is mad coincidence or because you listened to this song every day?
When I was very sick once, you sang me our song in about 12 voicemails. Because I was asleep and we couldn’t voice note then.
Did your assistants know that you hated Excel but would never bother them with your rage at spreadsheets? I’ll miss those emails.
WHY is it different on iPad?
What the fuck is that functionality?
NO IT’S NOT THE SAME.
DON’T SEND ME SCREENSHOTS.
Can I call you? PLEASE
Thanks, Excel fairy. Fuck. I need a shower after that. Sweating through my shirt trying to “customise cell”. It’s not a Build a Bear. God, there’s a new one and I don’t want to. Am I a bad dad if I don’t take her to get a pink bear that sings something interminable? Anyway, I don’t want to customise a cell ever again. You are the most patient.
Last year, you bought 10 of your daughter’s favourite Disney mug and hid them in your office desk in case an accident happens. Like you, she’s fastidious and has not had an accident. I hope the people who take care of your home show her the stack. It is the most you thing. You took her to build-a-bear, you know, The pink bear has a purple friend now. I’m gonna find all these emails and print them for her.
She asked me if I would paint you on my arm once. She means my developing sleeve of tattoos. I don’t know. What would you be? A dustpan and brush? A To Do list. A person who cannot eat food with his hands. Who organises his chest of drawers by height of use on the body. Socks at the bottom. Hats at the top. Chaos monster.
But no chaos. You found chaos disturbing. Your daughter won’t remember this but I remember when you used to colour code her toys with a special padded box for ones that might make noise. She thought it was a game and delighted in putting the red toy in the box of blue ones and you would politely grit your teach and clap while I chuckled at your joy in her and your desperation to put the red toy in its correct basket.
I’m writing this at the time I was meant to call you to talk about our shitty weeks. Time difference means scheduling our chats. I don’t know if your little girl was with you when you died. I don’t know if you were on the sofa or in bed. Were you cleaning a kitchen surface or doing your work emails even though you were sick and dying, you fucking menace? I like to think you died cleaning the fridge, lining up the cartons of juice to send me a proud picture of the pristine conditions. Your happy place was when you’d just cleaned the floor and then you’d spend an hour playing hide and seek with D and you could both skid silently across the rooms in your socks.
Always a plan ahead. Always a call away. Always a little bit melancholy but trying to find the laugh. You loved your daughter the most in the whole world. Next, bleach. And then, at one time, it was probably me. I’m sorry I didn’t come when you offered to fly me out for Christmas. I’m sorry we never wrote our album of “sad songs for organised people.” I’m sorry you suffered. I’m sorry it hurt. I’m sorry I couldn’t do what you once did for me and read you books down the phone when I was bed bound.
I’ll miss your post-it note reviews and complaints about whatever new coffee bean you’d discovered. I’ll miss that you hated wearing t-shirts and were terrified of kids wearing face paint. I’ll miss that you’d prefer an espresso martini but always ordered a gin and tonic in case the bartender was disappointing.
All your devices have numbered folders and not descriptions and that they all synced up and you just new that Folder 1 was … whatever it was.
That was you. An unreliable, emotional ball of propriety. So English. So Oxford. So earnest. But always trying to be your best self and to show love in your ways to the people in your heart. Deeply romantic but embarrassed about feelings. Always fucking tidying. I wish we could go notebook shopping and get lunch and gossip about the state of the world and end up in a Pret somewhere, debating about why raincoats are always damp inside.
Thank you for your love. Thank you for your care. Thank you for being my friend. You were my dearest nerd. I hope it didn’t hurt and that wherever you are, you are haunting software developers who don’t make properly indexed help sections.
I’m about to drink my first ever cup of coffee for you. It’s 20:14 and a stupid thing to do. I can hear you yelling about caffeine and my sleep cycle. It’s instant but it’s all I have. I’m sorry, nerd but it’s the best I can do. I miss you. I love you.
“I’ll meet you at the statue in an hour.”