Sometimes the realisation of failure steals softly into your life, like a lover's caress before they creep off in the dawn light, sometimes it comes in a letter or an email or message. By far the hardest though is when failure hits you like a brick between the eyes wrapped up in two little words uttered in all innocence.
I've never said I was the best mother in the world. Sure I've been a little negligent in some of my motherly duties. I worked hard and partied hard though my son's formative years but along the way I thought I'd at least taken the time to teach him life's basics. The minimum knowledge you need to get on in the world. But apparently not. In two words, one question, he shattered any illusions I had about teaching him well.
We were in the car discussing bands who have recently released albums and are therefore Big Day Out possibilities when I mentioned that Mr Moss has a new album coming out. As the words to Tucker's Daughter filled the car, Andrew asked the near-fatal question. I say near-fatal because I almost crashed into an oncoming car in my shock.
"Mossy," I answered thinking no further explanation was necessary.
"Yeah. Who is he?"
"Ian Moss. Mossy." Thinking he was just hard of hearing.
He looked at me with a blank face. Not that that is so unusual. He's a teenage boy for god sake. But this was exceptionally blank.
"You know, Tuckers Daughter, Telephone Booth on the Highway...."
"Guitarist for Cold Chisel."
Finally a response, albeit lukewarm. We drove on in silence for a while as the daggers of failure permeated my heart.