Saturday, 17 November 2012

Chapter Ten - PAM

‘I remember Auntie Pam as a dalmatian’ Frank told Lorrie
'A definite dog' He continued.

‘She always had this dalmatian look fur coat on and she’d bring round Feast lollies for me and my dad to eat, but not for me mum, because the first time Auntie Pam brought Feast lollies round my mum didn’t want one, and that was that, the assumption was made that she'd never want one, and so my dad got two Feasts that day, he was beaming, and he went on about the day he got two Feast lollies for years after it, ridiculing my mum for not liking them, even though she did like them, it’s just that she didn’t want one that day - but my dad didn’t listen, and looking back, I think you could mark the Feast lolly incident as the day my parents' marriage fell apart’

‘I stopped eating Feast lollies when my dad left. I didn’t even like using the word feast because of him. I stopped having non ice-lolly feasts too, but I don’t think I ever really had those sorts of feasts anyway, and I’d hide the selection of the ice-cream man from my mum if we were ever out, she didn’t need to see the image of a Feast with a bite taken out of it, it would’ve reminded her of dad too much - he had a memorable bite - so we’d get Zoom lollies instead, always, that was our usual’

‘It was harder to hide dalmatians from my mum. Sometimes when she thought she saw one, and when she did see one, I’d tell her it was a skunk instead, or a piece of interior design caught on the wind. She liked Pepe Le Pew and Changing Rooms, so at least I thought, these were good false thoughts I was filling her head with. I’d check the TV Guide to make sure we weren’t gonna find ourselves in front of the box with 101 Dalmatians about to come on, and I’d keep up to date with fashion trends, looking at the latest copy of Bella, and what the 3am Girls had to say, all so I could protect my mum from any dalmatian trends set to be unleashed on us’

‘It was hard looking after mum, but I never resented it, I wanted to do it. I’d still go to school and I’d do alright, I was your slightly above average student if that’s how you mark intelligence. I don’t see it that way, most of my education at that age wasn’t examined and awarded upon'
'I’d brush my mum’s hair for her and watch films with her that I’d rented from the library. She liked sad movies best. This Sporting Life was one of her favourites, I think she found comfort in the loneliness of others, not that it made her feel good, but just that it made her feel less of a victim and more a part of something that was sad, but still, it was a part of something’

‘I wanted to protect my mum from everything, but one day when I was in the kitchen making tea with her, as she sat in her wheelchair by the oven folding freshly washed tea-towels, I saw her face drop, and the neatly folded tea-towels flew into the air like unruly fireworks bought from one of those dodgy pop-up shops that only sell fireworks'
'My mum was pointing at me, frantically, but turning her head away from me as she did. She couldn’t look at me, that was clear, and she was shouting at me to, ‘GET RID OF HER’ I stood there, filled with sadness. I tried to approach her, but when I did she kicked me and told me to ‘FUCK OFF’ I turned around, confused, looking I don’t know what for, when I caught my reflection in the glass of the cabinet where it was the fancy glasses were kept, and there in my reflection was the name PAM spelt out, clear as day; a yellow font of PAM spelt out in harsh capital letters that begged to be seen'
'I hadn’t been careful enough, I held in my hand a can of SPAM that I’d been planning to make fritters with for tea, I was holding it in my right hand, covering the S with the width of my fingers, and there I was to blame for bringing PAM back into our home again. Big meaty PAM. A feast of PAM. The kind of PAM that wouldn’t go away, not even when we had fish fingers for tea’

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