Espanol, Por Favor!Mature

Back in the present, I let myself in to the house, dump my shopping and try to calm the dog down, who is by now so excited to see me is doing the ‘wall of death’ around the lounge. I kick off my shoes, unload the shopping and start to stir fry some chopped veg. ’ Well done Daisy” I congratulate myself on the healthy choice meal, trying to push away the thought of the massive slice of chocolate cake I ate at Mary‘s. Well, I could hardly say no, could I? Seeing as I was the one who bought it. Hmmn. Until recently I haven’t seen Mary for nearly twenty years. I swear that her husband Dick hasn’t had a shave since I last saw him and I don’t think she has plucked her eyebrows either. They are possibly the hairiest couple I have ever seen. The house is chaos - and her youngest, the autistic one point blank refuses to wear any clothes whatsoever.

Mary showed him the cake ‘Look Tommy, look what Daisy has bought you!’ she held out the cake (minus the white bits obviously).

Tommy stared hard at me for a moment. “Look” he said “Can you just go away please”. He grabbed a handful of his er, tackle and ran up the stairs, to do goodness knows only what, but I can tell you that three cats came shooting down the stairs very shortly after with that scared “My tail is on fire” look about them.

We moved the kitchen and Mary started to make coffee. Just as she had got to the bit of her latest story where her sister was caught shagging her ex-brother in laws, sisters uncles cousin Henry in the potting shed (well this was in Hereford, I rest my case) in walked what I could only assume to be a prostitute, chewing gum and stuck her middle finger in the middle of the cake. “Ah” said Mary “this is my daughter, Sandra, you never met her did you ? She is 14, say ‘hello’ Sandra!”

“Aw-wight?” she said, and slouched off sucking her chocolate coated finger, and slumped on the couch, regarding me from under her layers of eye shadow. Now call me a snob (well it wouldn’t be a first time and people DO say I take after my mother) but, I think, I would never let my daughter walk about town looking like she was up for a bit of business on the illegal and woops how’s your father kind if side. That skirt was barely long enough to prevent anything or should I be saying everything from making an appearance. And Sandra had certainly realised what her biggest assets were from a very young age - and was displaying her ample (and I admit rather beautiful) cleavage for the general world to admire.

Back in the kitchen at home, I realise that while I am stir frying half an allotment I have eaten the contents of the fridge. Pooh, my dog was by this time terrorising a ball and trying to get me to throw it by balancing it skilfully on one of my feet and barking “Sod off!” I yell and kick the ball away. Pooh has other ideas however and thinks this is part of the game. Delighted, she rushes forward and as I try to avoid stamping on her the mat slides from under me, I grab the nearest thing, the wok, flip the veg in the air and nut the oven door on my way down. So this is it, I think, I am 42, sat on a mat with a dog eating stir fry off my foot after an evening of being terrorised by an autistic eight year old and being talked to death my the hairiest people I have ever met. What I need, I think to myself, is a nice shower and a good book in bed.

I close the doors downstairs and go upstairs, kicking the post to one side and lock myself in my bedroom. Now call me a sissy but ever since that sleepwalking and my bedroom door as a toilet incident with my lodger I have kept my door firmly locked. Of course he apologised, and as Ella helped me to reason, most men mistake all sorts of things for loos when they are a bit pissed. I mean one of my mate’s husbands weed in her facial sauna once in a similar case of mistaken identity. At the time I was all for evicting him, however he was my third lodger in as many years and I was tired of interviewing prospective tenants. So I gave him that firm last chance speech. To my delight, I haven’t seen him since. I mean he is still paying his rent but only comes home when I am not here - a sort of rent paying scarlet pimpernel. Some people are actually starting to doubt that I still actually have a lodger. But to me, he has actually turned in to the perfect house guest, one that pays his rent but doesn’t actually stay. None the less I don’t want any repeat performances, I still shudder at the site of him ‘coming round’ from his sleepwalking as I bellowed at him like a Fishermead housewife (sorry Milton Keynes, but you know its true) in his “Worlds Best Father” pants his little friend waggling as he staggered around the landing.

I strip off my clothes, and darting past the mirror I climb in to the shower, rinsing the soy sauce off my legs. I start humming and singing some tunes from the radio earlier and soon I am covered in soap and feeling much better. I start to think about Mary again and I feel some sympathy for the life she has led over the last few years and I realise how lucky I am. Not that, I hasten to add, it excuses her son Tommy terrorising me to within an inch of my life.

As we were chatting the phone rang and Mary excused herself for a moment. Crouched in the corner she was trying to concentrate over the sound of the TV blaring, which no one was watching anyway. Sandra was texting someone or other as her phone kept beeping and she kept sniggering, Paul was practising his golf swing on the garden (please explain to me how someone who has been unemployed for eight years can afford a round of golf and shiny new clubs? Should I write to my MP?). Tommy slunk in to the room. “I’ve done a log” he announced.

“What?” I stammered, hoping that he didn’t mean what I thought he meant.

“Come and see, I’VE DONE A LOG!!” he yelled and did a little impatient dance in the door way. He meant just what I was thinking.

In dispair I looked over to Mary who was by now, crouched in a corner with her finger in her spare ear and her head behind the couch in an attempt to hear her phone companion. Sandra looked over at me, smirked and took off out the front door. An appointment with a client maybe, I thought half nastily.

“Er, can’t it wait? Mummy will be off the phone in just a sec, would you like some more cake?” I asked in a desperate attempt to change the subject.

“NO!! I HAVE DONE A LOG AND I NEED MY ARSE A’WIPIN’ !” and just as he was about to bend over and give me a full display of the problem, Mary came diving across the room “Tommy my love! Now we don’t ask people like Auntie Daisy to do things like that, do we, I have told you!” and as she grabs his hand and drags him back to the bath room its frankly, all I can do to not vomit, I grab another slice of cake and stare fixedly at the wall until Mary returns muttering her blushing apologies. Shortly after I leave, pausing only to admire the brand new car in the driveway - Mary is thrilled the social have provided it, Paul however, moans that he doesn’t like the colour.

I shiver, thank my lucky stars for my earlier escape and climb out of the shower wrapped in a super extra huge towel. I rub my hair dry, check my emails to see if Dave has contacted me, check my phone once more and pad down stairs in my pyjamas to make some tea to drink while I read my book. I swing on a stool while the kettle boils and idly roll the ball about for the dog. However having now eaten a family size portion of stir fry (of course I wasn’t going to eat all that ooh, no I was taking the rest to work the next day) she wasn’t so interested in playing ball and just sort of watched it roll past as she panted and tried to manoeuvre her now massively swollen tummy in to her bed. I stirred my tea for a moment and flicked the bag in to the slowly browning sink (I must buy some bleach, if my Mum saw the sink she would do that sort of tight lipped face she is so good at) slopped in some milk, slid slightly on the olive oiled floor (I thought dogs were meant to be good at cleaning up food) and returned to my room with my tea. By now it was just getting dark but was really quite warm, so I turned on the bedside lamp and flung open the window to let the hot shower air out and the fresh air in. “Right” I thought to myself, “lets do it” and I picked up my book, determined this time to finish at least one chapter. Since I had returned from South America I had found a new resolve in my life to pass a degree in English Literature and the first course had gone quite well. So well that I had eagerly signed up for the next phase and was now, as a consequence locking horns with Dickens ‘Great Expectations’ which I found I thoroughly hated. It wasn’t just the dour, miserable plot, with the tragic ageing bride that got to me (although I admit just before my last period was due I did cry for an entire afternoon AND eat an entire packet of Jaffa cakes as I became convinced me and Miss Haversham were so alike) but I have never liked Dickens and so I think had resolved not to enjoy it before I even started. I snuggled in to bed, grabbed by specs and started to read determinedly. I had to read it, I have to finish it. Suffering, I reminded myself, is in fact good for the soul.

I read solidly for oh, ten minutes. Fidgetting this way and that, drinking my tea, scratching my arm, adjusting my pillows and moving about the bed. DAMMIT! I hate this book!! I sat up - I was hot and frustrated with the damn thing and in a flash the book left my hand as I launched it through the open window. It landed with a rather satisfying thud on the driveway below. Pleased with my nights work, I tuned off the light, checked my phone for messages from Dave once more and turned over to dream about (it turned out) giving birth to twins.

The End

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