Absence Over Presence

In Felix Foley, Promo by Felix Foley

Forty Years Ago.
Age: 12.

“Felix, I’m gonna have to call your father.”

[The Principle said with his hands clasped and elbows on the table.]

“He’s going to want to know what happened to you today and your mom isn’t at home. We’ve sent a courier to fetch her and there’s no-one home.”

[I look down at the ground, my sore eye black and bruised already.]

“Father is at work, sir.”

“He won’t like being disturbed.”

[The Principle shrugs his shoulders.]

“I think he’ll be okay. After all, every father loves their children. He’ll be upset to find you in such a state. What did happen, anyway? Ms. Summers said you came into class in this state. I’d like to be able to tell your father that we’re handling it.”

“Please, don’t do that – it was nothing. I tripped and fell.

He didn’t believe me.

“I hope you’ve got a better reason in mind for when your father shows up. A courier was sent fifteen minutes ago – he should be along any moment now.”

[I was frightened. There was a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. A feeling that I now know to be anxiety.]

[There was a knock at the door.]

[The principle stood up and walked over to it, stepping outside to meet a shadow that I could see from the chair in his office. Even that loomed.]

[I’ll never forget the look on his face when he came back in.]

[He was as white as a ghost.]

[He stammered and stuttered through his words.]

“Your father is outside.”

[I guess he figured out where I got the black eye from.]

Present Day
Age: 52

“I wish I had a father like you, Harold.”

[Deep breath.]

“But mine showed up.”

[There’s a lump in my throat.]

“He was… a small man.”

“But he had presence.”

[Another deep breath.]

“Your daughter may have missed out on you. She may have wondered where you were or what you were doing that was more important than her. I know that weighs on you. I know it does.” [I felt it when you trashed my set.] “But the kinda violence you specialise in has no place around a child.”

[I know.]

[I know.]

[Having been trapped under the weight of Scissors might make me a hypocrite.]

“Take it from me.” [Please.] “I lived it.”

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about why you came to The Stage of all places to dig deep into your anger,” [I figured it out.] “Then it dawned on me. When I created this place…”

[The Stage between us.]

“I did so to become a father to all the little girls and boys who didn’t have one.”

“That included your daughter, didn’t it?”


“I’m sorry Harold.”

[I truly am.]

“But you can’t blame me for you being an absent father. You can’t blame me for being the father you couldn’t.”

[At least I was there.]

“Take it from me, sometimes an absent father is better than a present one.”

“And in your line of work, it was for the best.”