Sweets for My
by Dave Powell
forty years or more since I last stood in this
room, me old granddads bedroom.
Hell not see that bed again, I thought, or
the picture of New Brighton that hung on the
wall, hell not see that again. The faded
carpet on the floor, hell not walk on that
again, and I looked over to Eric and gave a sigh.
It was good of
Eric to come along and help sort out the stuff
that needed packing up. It was good of Joyce too
to have come to help. And help theyd been
over all these years.
Good help, help when it was needed, help when me
old granddad was stuck for owt. Good
neighbours theyd been, Eric and Joyce. The
type of people who you can rely on, not at your
door every five minutes mind, but there, there
when it mattered.
years he lived here me old granddad, Percy,
I said looking at em both, seeing their
sense of loss and wondering if it was greater
remember when he bought me me first
bike and how he used to hold the saddle when I
tried to ride it. And the day when I turned round
and found his hand had gone, and me riding the
bike proper for the first time, and the look on
his face, full of pride.
the old bed, the bed where he died.
He was a good man, Percy she said
with a look of fond longing, well
miss im a lot. She stiffened, and
with that resolution of the practical folk they
Well pack his things for you old lad,
youll ave enough to do with running
that business of yours, youll ave no
time for this lot of doing, Im sure
business, that was me, all self. The business
comes first, and I got me BMW that Id
always wanted. Never gave me old granddad a ride
in it though, never thought, never cared. And now
it was Eric and his Joyce doing what I should
have been doing, mucking out.
I went over to
the bed to stroke his pillow and accidentally
kicked over the chamber pot that was put there to
be handy, handy for the call in the middle of the
night. I bent down to pick it up and as I did so
saw his old sweet tin shoved under the bed. I
picked it up and showed it to Eric and Joyce.
sweet tin! Joyce cried, "hed
never part with it, never. Took it with him
everywhere. I even saw going to the outside lavvy
with it tucked under his arm.
be full of money that will, said Eric.
He was a canny old bird you know, your
granddad. Itll be full of fivers I bet you,
open it up and ave a look.
I went over to
the table and opened the lid. The tin was full
and I counted it all out on top of that table.
One thousand three hundred and thirty six, I
counted. One thousand three hundred and thirty
six photographs of naked homosexual men of
various shapes and sizes. A members card for the
Blue Boy Gay club in Birkenhead and three
The dirty old