by Ben Leto
Grey hair and glasses - these are the things that I'll remember most; a silver wavey mane and thick black spectacle frames cradling a near-inch of polished glass. Perhaps the black and gold of his heavy wedding ring too, no doubt now lying discarded in a clear bag upon stainless steel, next to his watch, his crucifix and his glasses. I'll remember the childhood smell of sun-baked creosote as his huge hands squeezed weedkiller relentlessly from the spout of a tiny bottle. The crisp taste of a runner bean in my mouth, freshly plucked from his garden's stalks. I'll remember the deep rumble of his voice as he would hug my boy frame, his strong arms stretched delicately, tightly, across my back, and the then unknown absence of tumours in his neck as I buried my happy face into the scent of Old Spice. I'll remember all of these things and know that he was a good man, all things considered; things I will never notice again.
Ben Leto was a professionally uncelebrated novelist, self-appointed dilletantish libertine and town drunk in the early half of the 21st Century. There are even those who deny he ever truly existed. (Click here to make a donation to Ben's memory, half of which will support 6S.)