There's a guy who I see at the station most mornings, he's slight and pale, his hair's a little long. I believe he's Irish, but I don't know if this is because I overheard him speaking once, or if it's because of his appearance. He has that wistful, Irish look. His wife is short, round, black and looks annoyed whenever I've seen her. They have two daughters who are, through a happy coincidence of apparently unremarkable genes, very beautiful. They are always very well turned out, in blazers and boaters and are usually carrying musical instruments. The family as a whole is a kind of advert for reproductive diversification. I'm not jealous of the father. Although I'd like another child I have one surprisingly wonderful daughter. Our relationship is very different from that which the Irish guy seems to have with his daughters, which seems friendly, if a little formal. I've never seen him hug them or wrestle with them and that seems a little alien to me; my daughter spends most of her time trying to injure me in one way or another. It's her way of telling me she loves me, or hates me, or that at least she concedes the unfortunate fact of my existence.
It occured to me the other day, Wednesday in fact, as we stood on the platform waiting for a city-bound train, he was with his elder daughter, that it may just be that in so proper a household the kind of rough and tumble that most fathers have with their kids just doesn't go on. And then I thought, noticing once more the small tonsure of recession that his wistful Irish hair might possibly conceal from the rest of his family all of whom were a head and a half shorter than him, it could be that they don't know he's bald. Maybe they don't know.