Martin Drake relaxed in a warm bath of soothing salts and caressing bubbles, to candle light and Garfunkel’s guitar. A large snifter of Hennessy Paradis Extra enhances the moment, as he ruminates over the comforts of home and his life thus far.
Just beyond his retreat, the children sleep, and Denise sits cosy on the plush sofa in the living-room with feet up, fingers turning the pages of a Grisham thriller in the presence of a quiet Chablis, while the soft hum of a dishwasher lends background to the ambiance.
Awash. In the joy of melancholy. Tears. A prayer.
I thank you for the life I continue to have because I haven’t killed myself, been run over, shot, or suffered the dangers of war; I know, and consider myself extremely lucky to be born where I am.
I thank you for the food that my job has placed on the table.
I thank you for staying in school and finishing my education,
for putting up with my annoying parents and listening to their nagging advice which did prove to be sound.
I thank you for maintaining the family connections and friendships which contribute to my happiness and bring me through hard times.
I thank you for having the courage to talk to Denise in that happy-hour bar twelve years ago,
thank you for marrying her, eating healthy and staying fit to produce the grade A sperm that gave us three lovely children, and for the effort you expend to ensure they grow into respectable, secure adults.
I thank you for the wisdom and patience I’ve gleaned from considering the opinions of others, from exploring foreign cultures and taking the time to understand that each individual is genetically different and therefore not me, don’t perceive life as I do, or share my political views and sexual preferences. Thank you for enlightenment and the realisation that the world is shaped by my actions, or inaction.
I submit to your will and guidance,
continue to instruct and help me in leading a good life, to be kind to others less fortunate, speak softly to my enemies and be wary of the foolish. And above all things, dear me, I beseech thee, help me to be humble and resist forcing my opinions and moral values on others.
thank you for everything the sweat of your brow, determination and good fortune has blessed me with, for it is you who giveth, and you who taketh away. I am truly grateful. Thy will be done.
In a house further down the street:
we thank you for this meal, for showing us mercy….”