One evening just after my fiftieth birthday, I pushed against the door of a pub not far from my childhood home. My father, on the way back from his office in London, was inside, standing at the bar. He didn’t recognize me, but I was delighted, almost ecstatic, to see the old man again, particularly as he’d been dead for ten years, and my mother for five.

“Good evening,” I said, standing next to him. “Nice to see you.”

“Good evening,” he replied.

“This place never changes,” I said.

“We like it this way,” he said.

I ordered a drink; I needed one.

I noticed the date on a discarded newspaper and calculated that Dad was just a little older than me, nearly fifty-one. We were as close to equals—or contemporaries—as we’d ever be.

Hanif Kureishi, Long Ago Yesterday, HAY FESTIVAL PRESS, 2006, p.17

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