One Green Bottle

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Chapter 18

We ate the chocolates and did not give them to mum. Mum can have other things these were meant for us. Not mum she was sulking all the time with this she was most amazed at the impertinence of the man to come and give us those chocolates when she had looked after that spoilt child. She went on and on about this so dad beat her up and she shut up.

I did not know if this was normal? Was that how people behaved and communicated? Was that how people acted out their grievances? Was it like that to be grown up? I would ask someone because I was dying to know. It was lack of knowing that was destroying my peace not being able to check all this and that not being able to realise all that was bad and the good.

I would go downstairs and upstairs all day long thinking what was normal what was good what was right who was right? What is the world? Who made it? Was it made of cheese and biscuits if it was how come we were always hungry? If Jack and Jill went down the hill how come they still carried a pail of water? Why it stands to reason the water would be no more. Imagine if you are carrying a cup downstairs and upstairs you would drop it or spill it. That made perfect nonsense of that nonsense you know. Imagine if I have to read Jack and Jill for the rest of the year would go round breaking this and that I would.

Mum was herself laughing away as if a bride without children. She did not want to be without children but she did not want to be with us as it was overcrowded. Everything was getting too small as if the clothes on our backs were stretched to the limits and everyone was growing into giants. Even my height was too big for I was getting taller than her. We measured each other and mum said you are too big and suddenly I felt too small. Vulnerable as if I was no longer myself. Someone else was looking outside into myself someone else was in the mirror someone else was lovable I was nothing.

I walked myself to school and back and there was this feeling of feeling left out. I was petrified that I would do something bad and make the situation worse. The social worker came and sat down in the chair without accepting a cup of tea. I was interested in her situation she was married and now lived with her husband in her thirties without a child. I humbled that she had replaced that child with me. Honoured to be there where she was even though I thought she thought we were some exotic plants which needed to be placed carefully in the soil in case we died. Did not she see that we needed her to break the barriers of communication so that I can tell on mum and dad?

But we skirted over the finer points of having a family and what needed to be done with children. Mum was told that I had to go to school.

“But she doesn’t want to.”

“But I do.”

“You do??”

“Oh yes I do.”

Laughs mum in a temper. She is most put out her companion was going to go and leave her to do all the work herself.

I d her lax manners and her seeming endless spite against authority and the world as if she was going to eat the system. She s the system if she can get something for nothing she would be first in line. She did not believe in educating us she thought her feeding us was the hardest work accomplished. Relying on her old ma‘s system she was copying with diligent mimicry. She mimics an old woman who should have seen what a talented being she is but now she was hostage in that room without anyone to see her flower but dad and he was hopeless. She wants the world to know how clever she is or has been she wants the world to know what she has done. But cleverness is not doing this. Being clever is to be not exposed.

I am being clever because I am naïve and good.

Women these days know better than to be good they are always not good it is what they now do best. Women are now encouraged to sleep around like dogs and they do this because men say, and certain women speak to them that to flaunt it is best piece and the price of not flaunting is to be poor.

When in London onions ago they said it was better to lose it then to win and now everyone wants to win.

That was years ago in London now it is today, and tomorrow is not for me maybe? I will maybe die or be near death or something bad will happen to me because he wills this his gang will see to it. I am undone with his spite as if he is taking control of my life as if my life is meaningless because he is not had what he wanted. He wants it still but there is a hole where it used to be Tom has taken it. I am now where the flesh was no longer there but this hole without anything to declare itself I muse is it over at last?

I might think that pop stars would fuck better the man of the moment. I might stay in the bathroom debating the issues who fucks who and what it amounts’ to. I might have no self confidence because there are so many cosmetics about and snip and snags eliminated; with the perfect figures all trawling the boards without a stitch on. I might think I am homely and not successful. What is a human being in the end but to know that one is not perfect?

Look Doris Day has the formula the little woman netting the husband, but do we think like that today? Set one’s cap at a man and think about the consequences later I don’t think I would like to be that woman. In fact it is all a lot of baloney in the end can’t have children so what is the point of it? What gets me is that we are serious in way which leaves me tantalised to life’s possibilities. It is as if someone has offered me nice things to do and eat and think. It is like having Tom Jones and thinking about the candy store. Well I always liked that the way the groove and the jive gets one. No it is not a sex novel it is about the way society behaves towards the rejects of society.

“I am a reject no more sir.”

“I have sired no one done nothing but write and paint and bonk and now thanks to society I am not even allowed an increase of allowance. I will die insolvent without anything much but these novels or paints. What I care for is that I leave something of me behind. Something good that might count when heaven comes knocking at the door. I have no reputation left. My relatives do not like talking to me. I am someone who does the job of looking after mum and she is more important than I. Because she had children and is a mum we did not suspect her at all. To look after a Turkish old bat is to do one’s duty. Who cares if the old bat is weathered her welcome and made society poorer by her ceaseless conniving to make the world a worse place. She did say she’ll leave nothing to me when she dies she’ll leave a barren desert, so that I can soon follow the old fart. We can be in hell forever. I sometimes wonder is she insane or am I?”

I am still in the flat upstairs from the shop in my little single bed; throwing the towel; without a doss to my name, without anything but this selfish body. I am trying it on trying to gnaw at it like a dog with a bone. I am in the flat above the shop with the sign written that it is a cafe without a single debt to its name. The sign is forever in there without a little wording to bet its stake. The sign can’t be switched off, wasting electricity mum calls it. One customer says it was the sign that brought him to the cafe in order to partake of our tea.

“Good we’ve sold one cup of tea you jerk.” Mum says.

“I won’t switch it off.” Says Dad, “It is one cup of tea and when he gets used to coming there will be other things like breakfasts and lunches.”

“How much money in electricity her eyes were like electricity, his new lover that is”

“This is business.”

“Being a woman is big business.”

“If you do not know that you go out of business.”

“You are impossible, you, stupid blockhead.”

“I’ll switch it off when you all go to bed.” Emine volunteers to do her duty by her daughter.

Mum is pacified dad is amused and I am ruining my youth. Where else but in the house can one ruin one’s life so completely without any witnesses? So the game begins I tiptoe from the flat and switch off the sign and dad tiptoes and switches it back on again. Everyone is happy.

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