Q is for Quixotic

NB: Posts may contain inappropriate and offensive language.

Sunday 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.  

Afternoon 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.

“Got myself a chick last night Mama!” He said flexing his muscles and making his friends spit their Cheerios all over my table.

“Oh..” I said.

“Yep.  She’s been after me for months but..you know, I let her sweat for a bit.”

“You’re such a dick Brendon.” Joe sniggered. “You know she’s only going out with you so she can get close to me.” 

“Yeah 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”

“You mean 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?”

“Sixteen and 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 I’m sayin’..”

“Well 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 dying.”

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 too needy.

His friends 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.

“I’m going 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.” 
“Well I’m not supporting you any more unless you make an effort.” 

“Yeah 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.

I got 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?

I re-read 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?”

Another message appeared.

The Voice: I just mean a normal picture.  Of your face.  Nothing pervy.  If you’re not comfortable with it that’s absolutely fine.

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?

The Voice sent me an email address via the chat message bubble.
I wondered 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.

Eventually I 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.
When I returned I had two messages: One on my email and one on my game.  I opened the e mail message first.

A smiley 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.

Wow. For 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.

I scrolled 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.