Short Break

Dear WordPress,

I am taking a short WordPress holiday so I can work on my book. An illustrator is busy making some sketches for me based on all my writings and the drawings I made and I hope to be able to post some of them soon. We might be meeting up either this week or next week to have a look at them. I am really excited about this and he is too.
At this very moment I am busy glueing all the fragments of my diary together with words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs and chapters and this is taking an awful lot of my time and concentration. Coincidentally also the two things that I sometimes seem to be lacking. Some people want to solve the time problem by saying that they’d like a week of 8 days; three days of weekend and five days to work. I think that it wouldn’t solve anything, most people would just have an extra day to procrastinate. Besides, we’d probably get used to that extra day pretty soon and be wanting another extra day, because we seem to be lacking time. Maybe if we’d make it a six day week, with just one day of weekend, people would value time a little more. Some people think that time is money, I like to believe that time is life. Waste time, you waste life. I kind of like that thought. It might just make people think about what they do with their time more than when they believe that time is money.
As for concentration … I was told you can buy that in cans nowadays. It is said that there are certain cans filled with a liquid that is supposed to give you wings and all other sort of things. We are being sold dreams and promises in cans. The only people who really get to live those dreams a little are the ones who make all the money selling those liquid promises. I don’t really believe in that kind of concentration or energy. Even though I have no scientific proof and I don’t want to waste time looking for it. Any person in his right mind will understand that if it really does give you energy, a candle that burns twice as bright … burns only half as long.


Not Happy About The Title

14-10-2014 Tuesday

Sometimes I think of the time Mum and Dad were still together. I guess their marriage was never really meant to be. And their friends and relatives must have seen the divorce coming from miles away. Even though their breaking up was really hard and Mum and I had a really difficult time afterwards, I think, in hindsight, it was for the best and we were much better off that way. Mum certainly was, after she had gotten over the divorce she seemed reborn and she was full of joie de vivre which is French and basically translates into ‘Look How Many Fs I give!’.
When I look back at their marriage I remember some moments that I could and should have seen things were not really right. Here’s a poem I wrote thinking of that day that Mum, Dad and I were going to the circus and we were running a little late. I didn’t really mind so much, but Mum and Dad were fussing and fighting all the way to the circus and when we arrived we still had plenty of time to get popcorn and drinks, find our seats, sit down and relax for a couple of minutes. They really needed to be more Buddhist about these things. So here is what I wrote down. The names are not really part of the poem, but I put them in there as to make it clear to everybody who said what and the ‘fat lady’ is not Mum (she wasn’t really happy about the title).

The Fat Lady Sings

Mum,‘ Can we get there in time?’
Dad,‘ You’re asking me now!?
‘Why, sure, dear.’ he answers,
‘but I don’t know how.’

Mum,‘ If we get there in time
We’ll see cannonballs flying
Hear elephants’ trumpets
See a mime that is crying.’

Dad,‘ The night is still young, dear.’

Dad,‘ We should get there in time,
So there’s no need to shout.
We’ll see lions jump rope
If tonight’s not sold out.’

Mum,‘ Will we get there in time
To see clowns and their gags
With funny red noses
And crappy old bags?’

Dad,‘ The night is still young, dear.’

Mum,‘ We must get there in time
Toute le monde will be there
To hear the band play
And breathe in fresh air.’

Dad,‘ We’ll get there in time
To see old men cry
Hear the fat lady sing
See red roses fly.’

Dad,’ The night is still young, dear!’

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to write a lot these two days, because I am a bit caught up in other things and I haven’t even got a clue what kind of things actually take up all my time. I turn round and when I turn back again it’s half past one in the morning and I need to go to bed, because another day of work awaits me. By the way I work at a small bookshop called Koreander and I more or less run the whole business as my employer is mostly out to lunch. The word boss, by the way, is actually more appropriate here, but I try to refrain from using it as it has such bad connotations. So whenever I write employer you can read the word boss instead. Guess who has to open up the shop tomorrow morning? We don’t open up too early, but I have got to go over the orders, call the customers to let them know orders have arrived and all that while my employer is … out to lunch.
So, I’m going to have to leave you already, but I bet there’s time tomorrow between 12.00 and 12.05 (my lunch break) to write a paragraph, if I’m lucky. See me tomorrow.

Coffee Stains and Photo Frames

12-10-2014 Sunday
Cheddar died of old age and not because Grandma slaughtered it. I know she wanted to and was often seen chasing after it with a knife. At the age of 15 or 16 – I have no idea how much that is in dog years but I was told that multiplying it by seven is not the correct way to go about it – Cheddar died with a smile on its face. Well, actually, it was more one of those faces dogs make when they just let one go and pretend it wasn’t them. It was as if Cheddar knew its time had come. He stumbled into his bench, lay down on his special designer dog cushion, closed its eyes, let one go and died with that silly grin upon its face. That was the kind of dog it was. I loved it to bits.
By the time the dog died I had already moved out of the house and into my own place in the Whitechapel area. Without knowing it, you actually already know a lot about me, for I have been telling you about myself throughout Arthur’s adventures. Of course I couldn’t have been my own neighbour, but the house described in the stories is what my house looked like at the moment of writing. There was only one thing I left out and that was my parrot Mr Crackers. I thought one animal in my memoires would be enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mr Crackers and ever since Cheddar died he’s been my best friend, but it felt kind of weird having my own (now dead) dog and my parrot in one story.
A man who was hardly ever at home occupied the house next to Arthur’s. He was always out for business, but nobody really knew what kind of business that was. Not even Unice knew and I guess that says it all. Dad said Mr Pink – that wasn’t his real name, it was what Dad used to call him – worked for the mafia and that I’d better not go near that house. When I was younger I’d pass that house in the biggest circle I could make around it. Dad used to say Mr Pink would cut off my fingers if he were to find out that I had been looking in through the window and thus knew too much. Have you any idea how I felt when I saw Unice nearing the house and peeping through the window!? I thought she’d be a goner. Dad was a little disappointed he was wrong about Mr Pink’s occupation.
I replaced Mr Pink for myself as he was never at home anyways and there was not much in my memoires about him. So, his house was not really my house, but other than that my apartment was and still is quite messy, full of books (maybe that’s because I work in a bookshop), bric-a-bracs, pictures, and I have an incredibly comfortable couch that I can sink into and not get out of. To be honest the pictures are not really pictures, they’re just empty frames over my wallpaper. Basically what I did was frame stains. It’s amazing how coffee can end up on walls. The former owner of this place did a really good job on making the impossible stains possible. I don’t know how he did it, but he even managed to get a coffee stain on the ceiling. I got rid of that one, but I framed the small one in the hall. I must say, if I were to cut out the piece of wallpaper and stain and frame it, I could pass it off as modern art. I’m not much of a connoisseur, but I think it’s ridiculous what people pass of as ‘art’ nowadays. It’s almost as if people don’t take the time to make a beautiful drawing anymore. It’s just a bunch of lines or some splotches on a piece of canvas. Sometimes not even on canvas. Toto … I don’t think we’re on the canvas anymore.
That’s it and that’s that. See me tomorrow.

A Kiss In Time

11-10-2014 Saturday
Today my neighbour, Ms Irwin, decided to declare her love to me for the umpteenth time and I have no idea what to do with it as she won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Ms Irwin is a nice lady, but about 15 years older than I am and from a totally different planet. She’s the apple and I’m not even a fruit. We have very little in common, but she fails to see it that way. For the past years she’s been trying to convince me of the so-called fact that we are birds of a feather and should flock together. If it were up to her we’d do more than just flocking.
I always call her Ms Irwin to keep some sort of distance and she keeps asking me to call her Elaine. Today, when I got home from the shop and was just about to turn the key to my door, she came running at me with her cake. Well, running might be a big word; she was just fast compared to her every day pace/ Which more or less meant she was walking at an average walking speed but moving her one free arm about very fast to give the impression she was actually running at an incredible speed while balancing a plate with a cake on it in her other hand.
Today she came round with a homemade cake.
‘Felix! Felix!’ And it’s always as if she is singing my name. I could not deny the fact she was calling me, because the whole street was looking in my general direction.
‘Felix! My love, I have got something for you! Wait up!’
I looked at the key in the lock and my hand on it as if it was their fault I was not inside of the house in time. Without her noticing it I let out a little sigh before I turned round with the biggest and best of smiles.
‘Ms Irwin, how nice to see you.’ After many years of training I have learnt to use some standard phrases people use in small talk. This was lesson 1,’ When meeting someone, tell them how nice it is to see them again.’
‘Please, Felix, call me Elaine.’ And she kind of hid her head behind her shoulder when she said this. I copied her move and said in more or less the same sing song voice,
‘Only if you call me Mr Bent.’
She let out some girlish giggles, waved her hand at me in some sort of strange way and I still have no idea why someone standing so close to me would want to wave at me. Especially when she wasn’t even really leaving. She told me about the cake, then, again, she invited herself in in her own special way. It’s no use trying to lock her out; she’s too fast. She manages to get into the house every single time and at least once a week for over the passed 4 years. I don’t even have to bother making tea anymore, because she does that herself. Sometimes I think she knows the way around the house better than I do. And I live here for crying out loud.
We had tea and ate some of the cake. She asked me if I liked the cake and I said it was delicious. It was; I didn’t even have to lie about it, because it was a good cake. Then she started telling me that it was because of all the love she had put into making and baking it especially for me and she went on about has she has had the hots for me ever since I moved here. That was when my socially awkwardness kicked in and I guess I must have started pulling weird faces as she thought I was about to have a heart attack. I told her a piece of cake got stuck in my throat. I think I got away with it.
Another thing she always does is that she tries to kiss me when I show her the door. I don’t like being kissed (not even on the cheeks). She is much shorter than I am – and I am not really that tall – and when I open the door for her, she stands on her toes, puts her arms around my neck, tries to pull down my head to give me one on the cheek. Sometimes she gets lucky and catches me off guard a little thus manages to pull me down far enough to give me one. I know it’s supposed to be sweet, but I am just not used to this kind of affection and I don’t want to give her the wrong impression.
It’s getting late and it’s time to sleep. Thanks for reading and see me tomorrow.

Boredom Is The True Enemy*

10 – 10 – 2014
If I remember correctly a new school year was more important to us than New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Resolutions. Our resolutions were made at the end of August, when a new year of torment was about to commence. On the first day of school kids would be like ‘this is going to be MY year’. They’d have new notebooks and ring binders; new pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners and pencil cases and of course they’d all be according to the latest fad; new school uniforms, new school bags full of new ideals and resolutions that I knew were going to be lost in that same new bag amongst all the other stuff that they just seemed to cram in there with it. I have heard some people say that kids seems to be getting smaller and schoolbags seem to be getting bigger each and every year. If you’d ask me, I think they should do some serious research after this phenomenon.
That year I decided not to bother with those kind of resolutions and I just went to school with the same old junk in my bag as the year before. Which more or less meant that there was a pencil case with half eaten pens (yes, I chewed on them to fight boredom – the true enemy*), pencils and stubs; something that used to be a rubber, but was completely covered in ink so would probably leave more stains than you wanted to get rid of; notebooks with torn out pages that held last years … drawings, because I hardly ever wrote down anything; ring binders that were about to fall apart because I tried to stack much more in it than just pieces of paper. Tests that were marked and handed back found their way either into the ring binder, the schoolbag or the litter bin and there was not really another system for it than looking at the mark and deciding whether I wanted anybody to find out about it.
Diaries, they deserved a special treatment. Of course everybody wanted to have the best diary, whatever they meant by that I don’t know. Mine was usually the one that had the most comics in it and the one that has the most room to make my own drawings. Writing homework in a diary was optional and usually for the nerds. The fashionable people put fashionable stuff in there – ladies usually kept a little mirror hidden inside of it. I have no idea why some of those women wanted to their own faces so often. My guess is that a lot of those ladies would have looked a lot better without all that instant and temporary plastic surgery.
So, I forgot about all those new school year resolutions and decided to continue the way I had always done, just being Arthur, because that was what I was good at. I guess boxing had had one good side effect. I had learnt to accept who I was and what I stood for. I was that socially awkward guy at the back of the class that nobody really noticed and I liked it that way. There wasn’t a teacher who ever complained about me making silly drawings of them in my diary, simply because they never noticed. I had that power, the power of invisibility and I guess that was quite enviable.
Thanks for reading, see me tomorrow.

Demons Need Exercising

08-10-2014 Wednesday

I’m awfully sorry. I was supposed to post this yesterday, but I was caught up in work too much. Besides that, Ms Irwin from next doors invited herself over for a cup of tea at 22.30. She can be worse than a Jehovah’s Witness sometimes; she was in before I had even had the chance to tell her I was actually quite busy and didn’t really have the time. It’s amazing how that woman can talk for hours on end and still have nothing much to say. Mum would have probably said that this woman got injected with record player needles. I have never understood what she meant by that.
Well, I never became as good a boxer as Rocky Balboa, but at least it got me a little into shape. I lost the extra pounds and even though I never got really thin or slim – which wasn’t my goal in the first place – I got into shape and I don’t mean that bag-of-potatoes shape. I liked boxing, even though it didn’t last very long. I guess a couple of months and when thing started getting serious I started getting seriously injured. That was when I figured it was time to throw in the towel.
Mum was relieved, Grandma couldn’t care less. She was still madly deeply in love with Rocky and I still can’t believe that she even tried sending him a package. If it hadn’t been for Mum, she would have. Mum found the package in the kitchen the other day and asked Grandma whom it was for. When Grandma ducked all of Mum’s questions like a boxing champ, she got a little suspicious. When Mum opened it she found a love letter inside, some sexy silken underwear (which had probably been worn), and some photos of Grandma. As Mum didn’t want to show them to me, my guess is that they were not just pictures of Grandma in her Sunday best. The only thing missing in the box was Grandma herself. The reason for this being that Grandma didn’t have a bigger box.
It is said that boxing is good for your self-esteem. I don’t know how much is true about this. I lost a lot of weight, but gained bruises, broken bones, black eyes and I guess if I hadn’t quit it would have cost me some brain cells, too. To some respect, I missed my chubby body at times. Some people were really surprised with the way I looked and they complimented me with it. It made me feel better, but it also made me shyer than ever. I had never gotten so many compliments so when suddenly people started complimenting me, being the socially awkward guy I was, I just didn’t know what to say. I would give an uncertain smile and nod a little. I guess I still do that.
One more thing and then I’m off. Somebody asked me about this and at the moment I am wondering what ever did happen. When school started after summer holiday I sort of, kind of, missed the old Evelyn. Not the new unrecognisable wench that had taken over Evelyn’s body overnight. Rumours had it the family went to Liverpool, but those were only rumours. Others said they had taken Evelyn to an exorcist to exercise the demons. I guess demons need exercising, too. I could have recommended the parents a good boxing school, but they never bothered to ask me. A good knuckle sandwich in those days might have just knocked some sense into that woman again and I would gladly volunteered for it. Evelyn in I never kept in touch, not after the way she had been behaving. Maybe we’ll meet again at a reunion or something. Who knows!?
Thanks for reading and see me tomorrow.

Boxing Day

07-10-2014 Tuesday

All’s well if it ends well, right. School was over, I got to live to see another day and look forward to another school year, summer holiday started and I felt like Chuck Berry, as the both of us had no particular place to go. Grandma said she wanted to take Mum and me to France and Spain if we wanted to, but we couldn’t. Don’t ask me why, but ‘we just can’t,’ is what Mum kept saying, while I was looking at Grandma trying to pull a face that read,’ Please, take me!’ It made me feel like those moments in Phys. Ed. Where I was always one of those people who got picked last. At the start of your school career you pull that pick-me face all the time and then after a couple of lessons and depressions you just decide not to bother anymore and pull a long face instead.
When holiday started I had lost quite some weight. I don’t know if you remember this, but I started to watch what I was eating and work out a little in the evening. Not too much, just some press-ups and sit-ups and the likes, which was why I was still a little on the heavy side, but not fat anymore. It took me some time to be able to admit to the fact that I was just fat even though I kept saying that I was chubby. That is why I decided that, since we weren’t going to go anywhere anyways, I’d spend my summer holiday getting into shape so that during my last two years at school I’d not be the last one on the bench every time pulling one of them faces and getting mocked a little. Mum said I was crazy, Grandma said she’d be willing to train together with me and Cheddar had no clue what I was talking about but wagged its tail in agreement.
Rocky was a real inspiration in those days, and I must say, I think he still is a big inspiration. I begged Mum to let me take up boxing even though I wasn’t really the type for it. On the other hand, if I had to choose anything based on what type people think I am, I’d probably be fishing or collecting stamps. There’s nothing wrong with those hobbies, but it might take rather long to get into shape collecting stamps. Luckily Grandma was a big help when it came to pleading. She had no idea who Rocky was at first, but when I showed her some pictures of him in his boxing outfit, she started drooling, then she gave me a fiver for the posters. Mum gave in when Grandma started walking round in her underwear hitting lamps and eventually knocked out Mum by accident when she jumped in between Grandma and the antique lamp in hall.
The fact that Mum is still alive at this very moment and Grandma sometimes still walks around in her underwear hitting lamps and orderlies (and I believe she still keeps the posters some place), means that Mum wasn’t injured that bad. She didn’t even have to go to hospital. Grandma did feel guilty for a minute or two, until Mum regained consciousness. Mum made a deal with Grandma, she’d let me take up boxing as long as Grandma would start walking round the house wearing clothes and stop hitting everything. At least Grandma stopped hitting everything.
See me tomorrow.


Just Deserts With Cream and a Cherry on Top

06-10-2014 Monday

That school year flew by like a summer vacation but different to that respect … I kind of liked summer vacations and still do. Evelyn and I broke up, she started messing around with a guy whom I believe was called Zack and she became quite the popular girl for a brief moment. It’s amazing how some people can change overnight and how some of us work very hard their entire life to make change happen; yet we stay the same no matter what. Evelyn started out the daft girl at the back of the class and ended up that hot chick everyone wanted to go out with (still rather daft, though). Don’t ask me how or why, I thought it was witchcraft.
Even though the situation was terrible I managed to get good marks on tests and to do well in school. I guess it was one of the few things I could do to keep my world sane. It had rules, it had routine, it had some sort of order and it was a safe haven. I wasn’t really being bullied, kids just let me be and I let them be. I could totally lose myself in books and schoolwork, because they made me forgot the troubles around me. Of course there were problems at school as well, but they were of a different order and – more importantly – not mine.
I remember Ms Williams, who used to be a Mrs but was having affair with Mr Owen and then became a Ms. After Ms Williams had got divorced they both more or less lost interest in one another. It wasn’t very long after that Mr Owen found another true love, namely Ms Quinten. She was the young perky math’s teacher who claimed to have a boyfriend nobody had ever seen. I guess we were right; she didn’t have one. Ms Williams and Ms Quinten hated each other to bits and their hatred could be felt throughout the entire building. Ms Williams soon started seeing this rich old man who always picked her up in his Chevrolet after school.
I don’t know if you have ever had the same thing at your school, but we sometimes had these 20-year olds waiting outside of the building on their mopeds or sometimes in a car and they would come to collect their so-called girlfriends. Imagine a row of 20-year olds with their crummy dirty and hazardous looking vehicles waiting for their much younger girlfriends and then somewhere amidst them this 80-year old bald dude in a Chevrolet wearing sunglasses and shiny false teeth. It was kind of pathetic. I don’t know which was more pathetic that sight or Mr Owen and Ms Quinten sneaking out the back door to avoid the Chevrolet Dude and his Barbie.
Like I said, that school year flew by and I managed to pass. Evelyn, however, failed that year. Her parents moved out of town, although I have no idea if there was a causal relationship between her not passing and them moving house. Zack was devastated for at least an entire day. It wasn’t the blackest day in his life, I’m sure, because he started dating Veronica the day after. I’d rather have had a million paper cuts a week than date a girl like Veronica. I know love is blind, but I guess it is also deaf and stupid. Pouring salt into those paper cuts would have hurts less than hearing Veronica’s nagging and irritating high-pitched voice. I guess some got their just deserts and some might still be waiting for them to be served.
That’s it. See me tomorrow.


I Forgot The Title

05-10-2014 Sunday

‘Dad has flipped his lid,’ is what Grandma said when we moved into her place. After two or three weeks at Grandma’s a moving van came by – unannounced, I might add – to bring us loads of stuff from our house … Dad’s house. There was no note, no nothing, just some furniture and boxes with clothes, toys, and random stuff that belonged to either Mum or me. Mum got pretty emotional, Grandma too, but in another way. She started ranting and raving. Normally Mum would have covered my ears during such a rant, but she was in the kitchen crying her eyes out. Being the boy I was, I covered my own ears. Just in case I shut my eyes, too.
The men unloaded the van and put everything in the house. Grandma had them move everything into the right rooms, because we would have never been able to do that ourselves. I kind of looked up to those guys, but not because of their jobs. They were really strong and they threw heavy stuff around as if they were made of feathers. I sometimes have trouble lifting my schoolbag. If Mum hadn’t been so emotional I’m sure she would have been drooling over their muscles. It shall always remain a mystery to me why she had married Dad in the first place. He was everything she didn’t want a man to be.
I guess it was one of the last things I heard of Dad, although I am really stretching the meaning of the word ‘hear’ here. He did sent me that letter that I read half, because Mum got hold of it and threw it away and told me never to bring that letter or its content up to anyone, not even Grandma. Other than that letter and the moving van, I had and still have never spoken to him or written anything to him. Last I heard was that he got married and moved to Spain, but those were Grandma’s words, so I don’t know how much truth there was in it. It could well be that he’s still living in the same house opposite the same old Unice and having the same old boring job, whatever it may be.
Dad and I, although I was obviously a lot more intelligent and handsome than he was, did share some of the same character traits. I always say I only got the good parts. Mum fears for my future as she thinks I’m going to turn into the same kind of ‘maniac’ and workaholic she now says Dad always was. Yes, true, he was a workaholic, but a ‘maniac’? I don’t know. When somebody uses the word maniac I always get visions of men wearing white overalls covered in blood, running after a young half clad lass with an axe. I guess Mum and I don’t share the same definition of ‘maniac’ and I hope she doesn’t think I’m going to run after girls with an axe. I hate running.
That’s it for tonight. See me tomorrow.

Felix Bent

Help Me, Don’t Help Me

04-10-2014 Saturday

After the divorce papers had been signed Mum started looking for a new job which wasn’t very easy as she had been a housewife most of her life. I figured she would get a lot of alimony and Grandma told her she didn’t have to find a job, because Grandpa had left enough money to support the three of us. Nobody really knew how much money Grandpa had left behind and nobody really knew where that money had come from – or where it was going for that matter. Still Mum wanted a job, even if it was voluntary work and she ended up at a company called Oxfam. I had never heard of it back then. I do remember that it sounded to me like she was going to work at a hoover shop. Mum said she was going to make the world a better place. I thought she meant cleaner.
Now, the weirdest part, after the Mum and Dad broke up, was that I was offered counselling, because Mum and Grandma were convinced I needed help and that the situation had to be tearing me to bits. I wasn’t the one getting a divorce; Mum was the total wreck. I didn’t (and still don’t) know about Dad, but didn’t my parents need that counselling more than I did? When Evelyn and I broke up it never even crossed anybody’s mind that I was hurting and that I could have used some advice or somebody to talk to. Now somebody else broke up and all of a sudden I’m the one who needed guidance and counselling. Go figure. It’s a mad mad mad mad world.
Mum took me to this woman specialized in teenagers and divorces. She got the number from somebody at Oxfam so naturally I wasn’t very surprised to see a room cleaner than the Operating Theatre at St Bart’s. Everything looked brand new and most of the furniture was either made of dead animals or dead trees and it was all shiny and bright. The only thing bothering me was that the room smelt a bit of smoke mixed with cheap perfume and there was sock lying under her desk and it sure wasn’t hers. This lady who was going to help me was probably having some issues herself. How could somebody who claimed to know so much about the brain, not refrain from a bad habit like smoking? And what was that filthy looking sock doing under her desk!? Already I doubted her skills as psychiatrist and she hadn’t even begun to work her magic yet. It goes without saying that we didn’t last the full hour and Mum had to come and collect me sooner than she had hoped. It took me exactly five minutes to make the lady break down in tears. It must have been something I said. I sneaked out of her office and asked the lady at the desk to call Mum and go check up on the so-called professional.
When Mum arrived I was sitting in front of the big building talking to this lovely old lady who had been walking around with a shopping cart full of junk. Actually, she was doing all the talking. Mum rushed out of the taxi, took hold of my arm and more or less dragged me to the black cab. I didn’t even have time to say goodbye. She waved at me as she saw me drive off in the taxi and I waved back. I never saw her again.
Back at Grandma’s Mum asked me to explain what had happened. I said that the woman started crying when I asked her after the sock, the smell of cigarettes and cheap perfume, and after her own marriage. Seeing that she was going to help me get over somebody else’s divorce, I deemed it not more than logical to know something about that person’s own married life. With a bit of a weird look on her face Mum threw away the piece of paper with the phone number on it and murmured something like ‘I can’t believe this, I just … how!? Why!?’ or something like that. Then she went upstairs, and left Grandma and me behind in the kitchen. I still have no idea what it was all about.
See me tomorrow.