morning came with relentless, pounding rain.
I hated the rain; it always put me on a downer.
I passed Brendon’s room
and peered through one of the empty squares where there had once been glass. He’d slammed his door so hard in temper that
it had completely smashed one day and I didn’t see the point of replacing it
for him to do it again. All bar one of
last night’s friends lay in lumps around his room. It stank of teenage sweat, overused clothes
and something I couldn’t decipher.
Disgusting. I hurried downstairs
in case it permeated my clothes.
My house was
wrecked: Pizza boxes, muddy trainers,
cups, glasses and empty crisp packets lay all around. I felt like waking them all up but it was
just easier to do it yourself. The rest
of the morning carried on in the same vein, as was the norm.
soon came and Brendon and his friends slowly emerged downstairs complete with
their living stench, like Pig-Pen from Peanuts.
They mooched around filling bowls with colossal amounts of Cheerio’s and
Coco Pops; enough to feed a village.
“Mommy.” Brendon said grabbing hold of me
in a bear hug and not letting me go.
“You’re awesome sauce.” He
squeezed me tight and lifted me up high off the floor.
“ARRR put me
down!” I screeched. “I have a weapon and
I’m not afraid to use it.” I pointed the potato peeler at him.
a chick last night Mama!” He said flexing his muscles and making his friends
spit their Cheerios all over my table.
“Yep. She’s been after me for months but..you know,
I let her sweat for a bit.”
a dick Brendon.” Joe sniggered. “You know she’s only going out with you so she
can get close to me.”
whatever, Joe, you fag." He walked over to Joe and put him in a friendly
headlock as he tried to eat his cereal.
“And who is
this girl?” I asked.
“Her name, Mother, is Jessie”
Hussy.” Tom chipped in from the table.
“Shut the fuck up Tom, you waste man. Like man wont leng you down! Brendon
joked. “When you’re as Hench as me then the babez may come a running ..but.. that’s never going to happen to you fat boy!”
I found it
amusing that boys used insults as a term of endearment. Especially Brendon. He would always take it one step further than
most, picking out all your faults and weaknesses and using them as ammunition. I wondered how his friends coped with him
sometimes. They either found him fun and
refreshing or were shit scared.
“I hope she
ISN’T a hussy!” I said. The last thing I
needed was some young girl being knocked up
“And how old is she?”
sweet.” He smiled at his mates who all cracked up laughing. “No seriously Mum,
she’s really nice. The only problem is
she’s a devout Catholic. You know what
good. I’m glad she is. Maybe she can
teach you some morals and how to be pleasant.
Maybe she’ll convert you into a good boy since I am unable to get through to you.”
“ERRR – not
gonna happen Mommy. I am a true atheist. God is for people who are just scared of
I left the
‘God’ conversation for now. I’d been in
that debate several times and told Brendon that he shouldn’t argue with people
who had faith in something just because he thought it was a load of
bullshit. I was glad he’d met a nice
girl and just hoped he wouldn’t start trying to argue with her about
religion. I also hoped she’d last longer
than the other girls before her who had been instantly discarded when they got
finished their breakfast and got ready to leave so they could all join together
virtually in the next hour to fight the bad boss. As I shut the door to them I was left in the
hallway with Brendon.
for a shower.” He went to go upstairs.
“Wait! “ I
demanded. “I want to talk to you. I want to go through this issue with
marijuana. I’m really not happy about it
and what you did to me and your Dad. And
the Governors meeting. We need to
discuss that. You need to start
behaving. Big time.”
“Not now I’m
too tired. Look, the weed thing, get
over it. I’m going to have it now and then so I can either tell you about it or do it behind your back. Make a choice. I know I’ve got to try harder at school. I GET IT Mum.
You don’t have to keep going on about the same shit.”
not supporting you any more unless you make an effort.”
Mum. Yes you will. And I do make an
effort, believe it or not. “He trudged upstairs indicating that the
conversation was now over.
I let it
go. Picking your moments was crucial in
order to stop a kick off. Sometimes you
just had to trickle your concerns through via constant nagging and pray he
eventually got the message.
I went to
the living room and flicked on the magic box.
There was nothing particularly interesting on. I hated Sunday nights. They always seemed a
little depressing and uncomfortable like that night before school feeling. I turned, as always, to my virtual
entertainment and to ‘The Voice’. God. I was
miles behind score wise.
Sophistication: I like his acting
skills. That’s all.
sidetracked by the TV for a second. A woman on the Antiques Road Show had just
brought in a little flowery vase she’d bought at a car boot sale and found out
it was worth thousands. I must take a
look round this house, I thought. Money
was getting so tight lately.
I checked the game.
The Voice: May I see a picture of you?
the message several times. Here we go. Just when I thought you had a bit more about
you Mr Voice.
I’d met these sorts before on games. Normally
they were straight in there with the “Got any saucy photos?” Yeah mate, because
of course I’m gonna send you a
picture of my tits so you can wank yourself stupid over them. Really?
I’d usually reply with, “I’m a transvestite.
Do you want me normal or in drag?”
The Voice: I just mean a normal
picture. Of your face. Nothing pervy. If you’re not comfortable with it that’s
Now he’d put
it like that it seemed perfectly acceptable. However I was still nervous – it felt like I
was on a back to front date and I didn’t know how it had got to this point
without me realising.
Sophistication: OK then. How shall I get it to California?
sent me an email address via the chat message bubble.
what picture to send. I scrolled through
my ipad thinking ‘No, I don’t like that one – my hairs too messy, absolutely no
sign of sophistication there. Hmm, look
a bit hammered on that one...no, no, not the Halloween one in my pussy cat
suit....Oh my God, whatever possessed me to buy that shirt..eww. And on it
went. Finding a normal picture amongst
my photos was proving more difficult than I thought. And why did I care? Why
was it important that I was visually pleasing to this man in the ether? But for some reason, it was.
opted for my FB profile picture. Smiling
face shot, outside of work with my sunglasses on. Normal.
I pressed send and heard the email sound whoosh it off across the Atlantic. I sat still looking at my ipad.
I felt like
a stupid teenager and inwardly chastised myself. I closed my tablet and went to make a cup of
tea. I then washed the pots and cleaned
down the kitchen surfaces so I could feel normal again.
returned I had two messages: One on my email and one on my game. I opened the e mail message first.
face. A smiley face. I hated emoticons. Particularly on their own as they were
too ambiguous. I only used them myself
to appease others. I’d had my texts misconstrued on many an occasion and
therefore had to add them at the end of everything so people didn’t read it in
the wrong way. Annoying.
But what did
a smiley face mean on its own? I like
it? Thanks? I can’t really be arsed to respond?
I moved on
to the game message.
The Voice: Thank you but I need
another. Without sunglasses. I want to see your eyes.
some reason that really moved
me. He wanted to see my eyes. It was soft and chivalrous and the idea of
him looking into the windows of my soul had a certain quixotic appeal.
I sat there
for a moment wondering what to do. I
felt like I’d walked into a situation that I didn’t understand or a
conversation I wasn’t part of. I was at
odds with myself. Why did I have to analyse everything to death, I thought. It’s just a photo. Of my eyes. No big deal.
through the pictures again trying not to be so picky and found one. I sent it before I had time to change my
mind. Again I sat there, still, waiting for whatever was going to happen next.
I didn’t get
a smiley face back. I didn’t even get a
return mail. I just got a message in the
game in the little green chat bubble.
The Voice: It’s perfect.