Dad

Sheridan Jobbins
2 min readJun 2, 2024

Growing up, Ruth loved Wuthering Heights — thought it was social realism. Those of you who only remember Heathcliff’s intense passion, his love for Cathy — really need to re-read it. He was a stalker. An alcoholic. He was on the spectrum — if being on the spectrum includes an eidetic memory for everyone who crossed him, so that he could drag them down into his abyss. The brooding orphan prince? He was an apprehended violence order waiting to happen. Ruth’s house was like that. A fucking ghost ride with her handsome, brilliant alcoholic father; fey mother; Gran and Pop with their calloused right hands from playing the pokies and teenage Strewthie.

All the other children bolted leaving Ruth, the youngest, to battle it out. Hattie left at 16 — doing her High School Certificate at the Tech while living in a shared house. Mac at boarding school. One brother on the first plane to Asia, the other to a seminary. Ruth, rattling around 36 rooms as the caretaker of Hell from 10 years of age.

Hope dying was the greatest nightmare of Ruth’s childhood. It was not a euphemism for horrible. The hell-hole of her adolescence in an alcoholic cess-pit with everyone smoking and drinking themselves to death. Hope, working her arse off to hold it together. Ruth, the last child standing thinking, “Don’t fucking leave me here to wipe their arses.”

When Gran died, Ruth was protected from the funeral. Waiting at home with Mac for the ‘adults’ to return. They should have protected her from the dying. The sadness. The loss of fucking dreams. Grandfather with his Astor three-in-one music console playing dead love songs. Sweetheart. Taken by emphysema three years later. Dad saying, “Good” when he heard he’d died.

Dad falling drunk on the stereo and finally inciting the wrath of everyone.

Fucketty fuck fuck fuck.

We’re all going there. Catheters, walking frames, bed pans and crippled nightmares. Dull-eyed dim-visioned, weak and proud.

Stubborn as fucketty fuck fuck fuck

Sorry. Is this not funny enough for you?

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Sheridan Jobbins

Seriously, my ambition is to create a screenplay as airy, iridescent and flawless as a soap bubble.