Mike Murphy -author

A New Era For Manny Youngman

Sample text : Their first night

He heard her sobbing in the night. Twice he stood in the dark outside the door of what used to be his spare bedroom and was now his daughter’s. He didn’t go in, having no idea what to say, and her sobs had a stifled sound as if she didn’t want him to hear them. She stopped eventually. He lay awake for the rest of the night.

He had a daughter. There was softness in him, deep down, unlike any feeling he had ever had. Was this what every man felt when his first child come into the world? While Jenny wasn’t newborn, her arrival had been a birth of sorts for him and for these feelings he was experiencing.

What was going to happen now? How would he relate to her, she to him? How would they spend their time together? Should he buy her things, take her places, introduce him to his friends, to his mother and father?

What was Mum going to say? He knew what Dad’s reaction would be, and that thought brought another, more familiar soft feeling. For all Dad’s faults, weaknesses Katie would say, there was never any doubt about his inner feelings.

These thoughts spun in the darkness between his face and the ceiling, repeating themselves, taking different forms while providing no answers. The sound of his alarm clock was a relief, promising routine daily activities he knew how to handle.

As soon as he got out of bed he knew the promise had been broken. Nothing could be routine anymore. At least not for the next six months. For a start, he couldn’t stroll naked to his bathroom.