“He’s just weird Christine.”
“Eamon, he is not weird. He likes to keep to himself that’s all.”
“He’s not, and he’s my brother. And in case you have forgotten, him renting the box room is helping us from going into arrears with our mortgage.”
Eamon rocked the baby that was whimpering in his arms, giving in to his wife.
“I know, I know, but the music going all the time, it’s upsetting Callum.”
Christine put her finger to her sons mouth and smiled.
“You love your Uncle Geoff’s music, don’t you? Yes you do! Yes you do!”
The baby pulled away.
“See, he hates it. What the hell is it anyway?”
“Telly Savalas.” Christine said it as casually as if she was telling the time. She was putting her make up into her handbag.
Eamon looked on bemused.
“Telly Savalas was an actor.”
“He sang as well.”
“No he didn’t.”
The baby started to cry.
“He did. He had a few songs in the seventies.” Christine plugged a soother into the baby’s mouth.
He spat it out.
“You are mixing him up with someone else. Telly Savalas was the bald guy in Kojak. You must be thinking of Yul Brynner. He used sing. ‘The King and I’ and all that.”
“Telly Savalas sang. Geoff had all his posters on his wall in the bedroom as a kid. Believe me. And now I’m off out with the girls.”
“That top is a bit low isn’t it?”
Eamon nodded at Christine’s chest.
“Are you sure you don’t have Telly Savalas and Yul Brynner’s heads in there?”
Christine said nothing and put on her coat.
“Well for you leaving me babysitting with your freaky brother listening to weird music.”
“You are not babysitting. You are minding your son!”
Eamon pursed his lips as he saw his wife skip out the hall door.
The baby cried. Then he cried for an hour longer.
The music kept going upstairs.
Eamon was tired. He put the baby in the pram, his arms were tired.
The baby wailed louder.
His father placed him in his chair.
“Oh stop please!” Eamon needed a break. He picked up the laptop.
He googled “Telly Savalas”
“Born New York, 1922...”
The baby continued to cry and Eamon tried to ignore it. He covered his ears with his hands and hummed. After a moment, he took his hands away and the crying had stopped. He turned around.
He gasped when he saw Geoff cradling the infant.
“Geoff...I didn’t see you.”
“He was really screaming. I couldn’t hear Telly.”
“Oh ...sorry....I ....”
“Sssh....he’s asleep now.”
Geoff placed Callum into his cot. He walked back to the door and turned around to see a bemused Eamon.
“Geoff fumbled in his pocket and took something out something wrapped in handkerchief. He threw it to Eamon. Eamon caught it and opened it up.
He looked down to see a bright red lollipop. When he looked back up, Geoff was smiling.
“Who loves ya’ baby?”