I love this photo of me, taken after a brutal Crossfit workout. And I’m flattered that the photographer likes it enough to consider putting in his book, The Face of Fitness. But there was something about it that bothered me. The pose and expression reminded me of someone else but I couldn’t think who.
This afternoon I was going through a load of books that we shoved into a cupboard when we first moved in. I thought I’d take some of them to Half Price Books. Because that $2.50 will really help my finances. Anyway, I came across my copy of The Profession of Violence, an excellent book about the Kray Twins.
The Kray Twins for those not in the know, were proper legit villains. They were the Sopranos of their day and ruled the East End as far as extortion, killing and torture goes. But they were of course good-hearted gangsters. They only dismembered their own kind and cor blimey, they loved their dear old mum.
I was a big Kray Twins fan in the 80’s, 20 years after they’d been locked up. I have no idea why I was so fascinated by them and I suppose it would harm my defence to say that I was equally obsessed with Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hinckley. And I also read Marxism Today. Yep, I was a bundle of laughs in my early 20s.
Anyway, when I picked up the book this afternoon, I realized of course that it was Reggie Kray that I looked like. There’s no doubt, just look at it — same tilt of the head, same ears, same mouth, same ready for a fight face.
And then that got me thinking.
As an adoptee, the question of who my real father is has plagued me for years. My birth mother spun some old yarn about it being a French bloke but I now have my doubts. Was she actually shagging a Kray? I’ve always had so many unanswered questions about my father. Do I look like him? Does he have the same sticky outy ears as me? What about our personalities? Does he sometimes want to kill people too?
Today I think have my answers. So thanks Reg, or should I say, dad?