I don't know this man, the father I've never lived with, but my loyalty to him is powerful and undeniable. Where do they come from, feelings like these: so strong and yet based on so little? The man, after all, is just an idea, a thought, existing before I have any experience of being his son, and yet I want to look after and defend him. I want to protect him from injustice. And I want to be looked after by him. I want him to teach me - things, everything: how to be like him. I want to be a son he is proud of. When, later, my real mother remarries while my father is still in prison, I explode with rage at the terrible unfairness of it all. I long for my parents to be together. How can she take up with another man, when her real man, her husband, my father, is still in prison …?
Hugh Collins: Hard Man