The cobbler’s children have no shoes, and don’t get me wrong, I was always proud of my dad for being a cobbler—it’s an important job with a fascinating history, it lets people forestall the purchase of new footwear, which can be a huge personal financial drain—but going to school barefoot for twelve years really did a psychological number on me and my siblings. Two of them aren’t speaking to him anymore; one blames him for her drug addiction. I don’t know. I suppose I can see what he was thinking at the time, but that doesn’t excuse him. At any rate, that’s probably why, when I started my own family, my priority was making sure they wore shoes at all times, even in the shower. When the old man visits, I can tell he’s judging me, but I’m like, fuck you, this is what a real father does for his kids.
LONDON: Dave Eggers will deliver this year’s PEN HG Wells Lecture on the theme of digital human rights. Sunday, December 16. Tickets available here.
May 7, 2014