“Blind Date” is the first story in the recent short story collection from Australian author Janette Turner Hospital, Forecast: Turbulence (Fourth Estate, 2011).
Lachlan’s father left eight years ago but is apparently coming to his daughter’s wedding. Lachlan has heard nothing about his Dad in all those years and is excited by the idea of his return. He knows his mother and sister don’t share these feelings and Lachlan is careful what he says. But as the wedding grows closer all sorts of information comes out. Is Lachlan the only one kept in the dark about his father? But he was just a little kid then and, although he is blind, his memories are infused with smells, sounds and the memory of his father’s last words.
This is a wonderful telling of a child’s perspective on an emotional family situation. How far can memories carry a relationship of absence? Will the strong bond Lachlan feels for his father be mirrored when they meet again? Or are his mother and sister the wise ones, remembering disappointment and expecting nothing? What pulls this father back to his children after years of neglect?
You can read this story online at The Monthly, or get the book from the library and explore more of these engrossing stories.