Ian Rankin
My name isn't Gordon and I'm not an alcoholic. 
I didn't grow up in Manchester. I don't have two sisters. 
They didn’t get married to the wrong types. 
I never played until dusk in concrete playgrounds 
banked on all sides by overbearing high rises 
and yelling mothers. I never got abuse from my 
drug dealing father. I didn't go trick or treating 
to the rich part of town and I don't remember 
getting drunk on cheap wine from Oddbins. 
I didn't try smack, or crack, weed or whizz. 
I didn't get cut in an alley on the way to the pub, 
or cut him back when I saw him in town a month later. 
I didn't go to art college or learn to deal weed 
to the rich kids in the pub after. I don't recall an arrest. 
I didn't do time in Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. 
I didn't think the time I didn't serve in Strangeways 
would last so long. I didn't make friends with a minister or 
the screws. I didn't fall in love with Sylvia in the library. 
I didn't forever lose myself  in the showers. I don't 
remember how long the riot lasted. I don't think 
about how long it didn't take for the doctors to 
remove all the shards of glass that didn't get 
embedding in my body. I don't remember feeling how 
the rays of the Sun felt so much sweeter on my 
skin after the day I didn't get released. I don't think 
I don't live in denial. I don't know why I couldn't ever get a 
job. I don't like fruit machines. I don't like the pub. 
I don't like the way the stiffs look at me. I don't recall 
sleeping on a park bench. I don't know how to find 
scraps behind Pizza Hut. I don't remember ending 
up in hospital. I don't know how long the surgery took. 
I don't remember the day my sister didn't pick me up 
and take me to her new house in Milton Keynes with 
her new husband. I still don't know how to make a 
dining table. I don't think I learned anything. I can't 
remember my next hospital visit. I don't know who 
could give me a liver. I don't know if God will ever 
forgive me?

Terry Pratchett, English humorist, satirist and author, was born today in 1948.

Ian Rankin, Scottish crime writer, was born today in 1960.

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