Aaron and I met at the Brockley overground train station and walked over to Adam's place together. (Shane couldn't make the dinner because of work, so he plans to meet Adam on his own on a weekend when he has more time.) We were both nervous/excited. We were looking for number "64" and as we walked we counted the numbers we passed out loud. "26,...29,... 34,..." The anticipation was intense. I mean, when I met Aaron for the first time, I felt anxious, but I was feeling it alone. Now Aaron and I were feeling the anxiousness together and I felt like we bonded because of it. We saw 64 and walked down the stairs to his basement flat. Aaron knocked on the door and we waited. About a minute later a man came to the door that looked JUST like my(our) dad. It was Adam. The resemblance is pretty remarkable. I don't have any photos of my dad, but trust me, Adam looks exactly like him.
I walked into his place and Adam gave me a huge warm strong hug. It's really something having an immediate blood connection with someone. You can quickly move past the bullshit pleasantries and get right to the meaningful stuff. You don't even have to talk about anything meaningful, the connection is there regardless.
He took Aaron and I upstairs to the kitchen and continued preparing dinner.
His girlfriend, Lynn, was there and she was just a s friendly and warm and welcoming. You can tell a lot about a person from the friends that they keep. She was great, so I knew he had to be pretty great, too.
The first couple of hours we shared our individual interpretations of our dad. Telling each other what we knew of him (which wasn't much at all) and our personal stories of where we'd been and what we'd up to until now. I'm not going to get into all of it here because this blog entry would be twenty pages long if I documented everyone's story, but just know that the common theme is that we all have/had strong moms that managed to raise some pretty great kids despite Christopher Jolley's (our dad's) fuck ups.
Adam made a glorious meal: Thai coconut soup with shrimp to start, rice noodles with veggies and beef, and dessert. They all had key lime pie for dessert, but I chose to avoid the sugar. After they finished the pie and I finished my cardamom tea, we made our way to the living room.
Here's Lynn and Adam:
Here's Aaron and Adam:
The sibs laughing:
And here we are getting rowdy:
I didn't want the night to end. But...the stupid London tube stops running at 12:30am and it was already after midnight, so Aaron and I had to run. We all exchanged our addresses and promised to keep in touch. I promised that I would be back very soon. Now that I have all of this family in Ireland and London, I'm going to be making many more trips here in the near future on a regular basis. We gave each other another big strong hug and said goodbye.
Aaron and I walked to the train still high from the night. Well...Aaron was also quite drunk. The three of them shared five bottles of wine and I think Aaron drank most of it. (If you look back at all the photos of Aaron, he's holding a glass of wine in ALL of them.) He was LOOPY. I usually hate being around drunk people, but he was a fucking hilarious drunk. I just have to share a video of him on the train yelling at the map:
OMG, it was funny. When I look at this I almost can't breathe.
Of course, we didn't make it to the tube in time, so we had to walk about 30 minutes to the bus stop. It was freezing, but it was fun having more time to hang out with Aaron. He kept bragging about how warm he was because of the booze and how I was missing out. We made it to the bus and he went Eastbound and I went West.
I got back to Shane's place at 2:30am.
What an amazing day.