The Day Everything Went Wrong
(except the bits that didn't)
I guess you could say the day began half an hour before Angel ended. By the
clock that is entirely accurate, but by the Things Going Wrongness Scale, it's
a little off. At least an hour off.
Angel over, we cuddled and smooched, and... didn't drift easily into loving
as we usually do, no matter how late it is.
The sex went wrong, from the start. Nothing felt right, and when I said
"You feel funny" he said it was I who felt funny and that I shouldn't
try to blame it on him. And then it didn't work anyway.
That always, always makes me feel just dreadful, which makes him
feel dreadful, too. So there we were, wrapped in one another's arms, feeling
crappy. At four we drifted into sleep.
And then at seven, my alarm clock went off, as it is supposed to do. And I
got up, got my Littles up, fed, and off to school. My lover and I had a lovely
day planned. We're going to buy me a new bed. Today was for wandering around
shops, seeing what we like, and what I can afford, and for going into Minotaur
in the city and choosing a 21st Birthday present for Adam.
It Was Not To Be.
Before ten, there was a telephone call. My mother went very silent, and I
knew something was wrong. My father wanted to meet with her, to discuss my brother's superannuation. To me, this signified that my
father needed to discuss some aspect of my brother's superannuation with my
mother. To my mother, however it meant my father had some dreadful hidden
agenda and that her life-as-she-knows-it was about to come to a hideous and
She shook. She lost all colour from her face. She didn't throw up,
or burst into tears, but it was a very near thing.
At ten, I woke my lover with cuddles and told him I would have to be at home
at 2, when my father arrived. He... didn't get mad. It was lovely. He almost
never gets mad, and even less often with me, but somehow, whenever I tell
anyone anything that will disconvenience them, I expect sulks and rages.
He's wonderful the way he accepts things, even things which blow goats.
So I took my mother to the house she was going to and which, thank glod, she
couldn't avoid going to this morning. I came back, had a 10 minute
cuddle with my lover, then sent him to shower while I dashed around doing some
dishes and last minute cleaning up before The Terrible Scary Person
My Mother Used To Be Married To arrived.
We went out to my lover's car, ready to go to get the 21st present. Somehow,
overnight, some lovely little ants had decided to make the car their new home.
The console and dash were covered in tiny little biting formic-acid smelling
creatures. We sprayed them to death, and kept the spray with us for the journey.
Usually, when bad things have happened around or even to us, we manage to
keep a light demeanour. But not today. In the car, I felt like crying. We both
started little bits of conversations, which dried up within two exchanges. The
radio was playing really bad songs, no matter what station, and by
the time we'd driven the 45 or so minutes to the city, we were both
feeling decidedly crummy.
There was nowhere to park. We drove around for 20 minutes. No empty spaces on
the street, all the paying Car Parks with big "Sorry, we're full"
signs up. At one point, he asked me "which way, do you think?" at a
T-intersection, and when my random choice turned out to also be empty of spaces,
he grumbled "Thanks, Love" at me. Usually, I would giggle at that...
Today I almost burst into tears.
Finally we found a paying car park with no "Sorry, we're full"
sign, and went in. We drove up eight floors until we found a place, and then set
out to the book, comic and video shop.
The comics we wanted were out of stock. There were no suitable posters for
me to get framed tomorrow morning. So we decided on a subscription to Unreal
X Men and Unreal Spiderman, for a year each. The price in the issue we bought
was copeable with, and we were satisfied. But once my lover was at home and
calm, he reread the subscription information... and it's far too much for us to
manage after all.
Minotaur is a shop one could happily spend several hours wandering in.
Picking up this book, browsing through the out of print comics they sell,
leafing through the artists' folios.... and spending far too much money.
But today, because I had to be home to hold my mother's hand when the Scary
Monster arrived, we had to hurry home. The traffic sucked. Well, probably it
didn't, really... but the way we were both feeling by then, there should have
been upside down semitrailers across every road we wanted to go along.
We got back to Croydon, after 3 calls to my mobile from my more and more
distraught mother, and one from his, asking (unwisely) if we'd had a nice day...
I'm afraid I explained to her in some detail that we had not... We pulled up in
a no standing zone and mum got into the car...slowly.
We came home, accompanied by the sound of my mother's terrified, nauseated
panting, and then my lover left. My mother and I sat on the step to her
sitting room and waited. It was probably only ten minutes, but with her on the
brink of tears, and my walking the line between soothing and seeming heartless,
I was almost panicking myself when he arrived.
He was bluff, and large, and polite, as he has always been.
He touched my back as we walked together down the driveway.
I think perhaps he misses me the way I miss him. Not a sharp pain for
something that was, but a dull ache of sadness for all that could have been, but
My brother had an insurance policy on his life. One that the mode of his
death did not invalidate. My father came to tell my mother that she is the
beneficiary of half the policy's payout.
Not to scream at her, or to hit her, or for any harmful thing.
We were polite.
All of us.
And then he went home - He left one minute before my children came home. His
grandchildren one of whom he has a single glance at, in the week after his
I think he left then so he would not have to meet them. To avoid
complicating his life with two new relationships.
And now I'm tired.
After he'd gone my mother said "He was so nice. he was so kind. He
doesn't have a hidden agenda after all."
I hope she remembers that next time he wishes to speak to her