Mother and Fathers Improbable Meeting

 

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

Woody Allen

 

Once  again the actual fat chance of our hero existing once again comes into play with some incredibly, mind boggling odds.  The numbers are difficult to comprehend.  There are approximately 7 billion people in the world, give or take a few dozen.  It does tend to fluctuate. Now factor in that around 70%  are adults and that there’s essentially a 50/50 split between males and females. Which means there are about 2.45 billion potential special people out there for any one person. So in a nutshell a person has a 1 in 2.45 billion chance of meeting a life partner.

 

In this case the egg donor and the sperm supplier met as entirely by chance as is possible to conceive, quip fully intended. Mother was on a day out at, roll on the drums, Southend-on-Sea.  Again the sea and water! Mother and her younger sister were ambling around the beautiful playground that was the funfair at Southend in an affable manner, circa 1951. As they strolled around in their best attire they spotted a ride that they both agreed would be fun. However the ride was going to project them up to some crazy G-forces. Giggle force. They duly deemed the ride unsuitable for their handbags. Then the problem arose. Neither of them had had the forethought to bring alone a young man as company and chief bag handler. What were the young ladies to do in order to find a solution to this thorny problem? Trumpets please and sounds of horns blaring out in a Roman Empircal mode in the background. Enter stage left our hero, that handsome slim but well -built old devil, Brylcreemed and clad in jaunty grey flannels and a blue jacket, that caddish looking chap who would be known as Father. For some blindingly naïve reason, or such was the desire to go on this particular fairground ride that the ladies asked Father (to be) to hold their handbags. But move beyond the mere bag in its material form. For in the bag was their money. Money they had been saving for this day out, the keys to their home, ration cards and other forms of identification, apart from the mundane essential of cosmetics, and probably spare knickers for purely emergency reasons. Just what were legitimate emergency reasons was never alluded to in any great detail. Although there was enough material for an emergency parachute, or two! Maybe that was the answer. Covert parachute production.

 

And what a fascinating place Southend-on –Sea was for the funky hipsters of the time. Originally the ‘south-end of Prittlewell village, so much more appealing and lyrical to the ear. As a resort Southend- on-Sea grew in popularity from the Georgian era onwards. To celebrate this popularity a pier was built in 1830. Then after some time the very sensible idea of building it in iron instead of timber saw the new, stronger modern pier open in 1889. And what a pier! At 2,158 meters long, or 7,80 feet, or if you really want to get a concept of its length try 1.34 miles or 2.16 kilometers, the longest in the world. Southend-on Sea could really say come and have a look at this! This epic sized construction juts in a phallic like manner into that aquatic playground known as the Thames Estuary. The location of Southend -on-Sea geographically means that it has warm summers. However remember these are British summers we are talking about, with no dry season.  Exactly. Brolly, please.

 

Back to the amusement park. In fact they met at what they termed the Kursaal. This is a German word and means the ‘main public pump room in a spa.’ However it was used in the  English language to denote a Fairground or Amusement Park at that time. The Germans must have been outraged at this blatant and abusive misuse of their beautiful language. So much so that in May 1915 the German High Command sent a huge Zeppelin captained by a certain Hauptmann Erich Linnarz to visit England. Well to be honest they only did huge when it came to Zeppelins. Anyway, the gallant captain was tasked with attacking London. However he single handedly destroyed the myth of German thoroughness and efficiency  when he decided, on a whim, to drop a few bombs on Southend. As you do. Just to say hi! Maybe he spotted too many sunbeds without towels laid on them reserving them for after the war. Later when Captain Linnarz was deterred from attacking London he dumped the rest of his bombs on Southend again on his return trip. What a generous soul. Hundreds of  bombs exploded in the town and duly punished the English for using and twisting the linguistic usage of Kursaal so derisively. Take that Englander! Anyway this meant nothing to Mother and Father in 1951 outside of the offending Germanic word which was in common usage at that time.

 

The ride. Father, on being accosted and asked if  he would hold their bags, and being the gentleman that he was, duly agreed. And then he waited patiently while the ladies had their fun, hurtling around at unimaginable speeds and giggling. He did not rifle through the bags, for he had left his rifle back in barracks. Nor did he pilfer anything, not even the spare bloomers. Instead he  stood as if he were a sentry outside Buckingham Palace, solid and reliable. Hwe was definitely starting to feel solid. Or maybe he was thinking along the lines of a ride for a ride. Come on ladies, I was ever so helpful! Either way contact was established and events would unfold at such a rapid pace that Father would ask for her hand in marriage, and all the other attached bits too, in only three weeks from the day they met . Now that was a fast worker. Notably neither of them took heed from the inherent warning to be taken from the initials of where they met, Southend -on-Sea, or SOS. Three dits, three dahs and three dits. Which incidentally does not stand for ‘’Save our Souls’’ as apropo as that sentiment may have been for their fateful meeting.

 

Now back to creating him. So, 23 male and 23 female chromosomes fused in perfect harmony, and excuse his immodesty, devilishly handsome to boot, and the process of creating him from the nothing he had been, which is nothing and nowhere as there was nothing there,  to the something he would become. He had, if you will, surfaced turtle-like and had his neck lassoed with his very own life-saver slung around his neck.

‘’And as unplanned as the ensnaring of a turtle with a life saver’’,  said the counselor, who really was pushing home her bitch-like advantage behind a banal smile, pineapple tilting slightly to one side dangerously. He agreed with the counselor, not from deference for her profession, but for the fact that somewhere in the depths of his mind, his walled and partioned brain, a dim 40-watt fly shit encrusted bulb had illuminated. It was visible through the cracks in some of his walls.

 

Unplanned he had slipped in unbidden (more punning) into Mother’s nether regions. Well, that was not exactly completely accurate nor true. He had been pumped in at 28 mph, or 44 kph for those of the metric system. Just stop and think about the size of a sperm, which is as mentioned earlier only 50microns long. And then fire it off at 28 mph, that really is some forward motion. After such an explosive start the sperm, naturally, starts to slow down just a tad. Well you wouldn’t you. And then takes the slip road of the motorway and takes about 72 hours to reach the egg.

At first he wasn’t much to look at with just two layers, but he was replicating nicely and by 4-weeks he had built himself up to the size of a poppy seed, and could then officially be called an embryo.

’’ Hey you’’

‘’What’’

‘’You’re an embryo’’

‘’Thanks’’

His brain which developed from a neural tube, was coming along nicely, as was his spinal chord. Although others would later testify that our heroes brain development had been as stunted as Snow Whites dwarves. But still nobody knew he was there, not even Mother. However around the 12th week Mother grew exhausted on blaming everything on ‘the wind’ and sought a more definitive diagnosis for her discomfiture. If it were wind, then the future did not look rosy for her, or those in her company. Beseeching pleas were made by the family who felt the acute lack of ventilation in their home at that time. Mother was encouraged strongly to find a cure for  her windy problem, so a visit to a doctor was arranged. The very profession that had been so reliable in her life up until then.  But beggars can’t be choosers. The doctor concurred that it was not wind in a relieved tone. The he quietly closed the surgery window fretting over the lack of fenestrations in his small surgery. He then informed Mother that she was in fact pregnant. With child, bun in the oven and up the duff.

‘’So you were an accident,  an unwanted child and you threw a the family out of kilter ’’ said the counselor.

‘’Have you ever thought of how such thinking pervaded their thinking of you then, and later on?’’

No he hadn’t, he was being taken to places his mind had not dwelt on before. It was unsettling. Revolutionary.

The flensing was going quite nicely.

Being

Because  I was conceived and born, and grew up and I’m breathing, and my heart is beating, as much as it hurts, as much searing monumental pain it causes me-I have to exist.

Brenna Yovanoff – Paper Valentine

Mother was 42-years old when she gave birth to our hero. So in addition to her age, the fact that there was almost a mathematically zero chance of living, at all  meant that he did well to be born. Fullstop. She gave birth to him in the month of February.  February as a word derives from the last month of the ancient  Roman calendar and refers to a month of purification. Whilst the old English name was mud month. So much more earthy. Wet earth of course. It was England after all.  Mother had duly purified herself by jettisoning our hero into the world in mud month. As a young lady Mother had been informed by doctors that she would never be able to give birth to a child. Leastways not a live one. In fact that she was as barren as the surface of the moon and that there was more chance of Britain having a female Prime Minister one day, as if! (male humour circa early 1960s).  The problem was that she had not developed reproductively from a girl into a woman. But this is the wonderful thing about doctors. And not only doctors. But the seemingly endless queue of experts who are wetting themselves to pass on bad news, the end of all and the nil chance of something happening forever. They get things wrong. They are not accurate in their doom-laden prophecies or simply cock it up. Well, in this case the doctor was wrong. For Mother this was not an unique experience in her life. The proof of the pudding being that our hero was the fourth pregnancy for Mother.  He had an older sister, and elder brother and sadly the third pregnancy which did not make it out of the starting blocks. A real zero and a true dead end. Even before that another doctor duly informed Mother that she would not live beyond 30 years of age. Wrong again doc. How to make a young lady happy. Imagine that conversation.

Doctor Doom says

‘‘I am very sorry to have to inform you will never have children. What is more you will  most likely die before you are 30 years of age. Have a good day and close the door on the way out, please. Next’’.

 

The next obstacle that the doctors said she could face was the very real prospect of giving birth to a child with Downs Syndrome. Which luckily did not happen. Enter Brother. Brother pointed out on a number of occasions in later life as being an accurate diagnosis. Horrible ginger cunt. Downs Syndrome, or the far less  politically correct term, Mongolism, is the most common of all birth defects. Did anyone ever ask the Mongols of having their name ascribed to this malady? Ever have the politeness of enquiring if it was okay with them? Being over 40-years of age automatically put Mother in the, ‘we should warn her’ category for her doctor in his ‘list of things to do and what ‘what to tell my wife when I take the new young nurse for multiple meat injections over the weekend’, no maybe not that list! She was actually informed that she was at ‘high risk’ of having a Downs Syndrome child and that she should know the risks before considering her next move. Fortunately Mother didn’t listen to the professionals who were laying before her the option of an abortion.

Now according to early Christians, not ones that rise early in the morning you understand, but those hanging around at the start of the faith. Well these guys thought that Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus was the second person of the Holy Trinity, only second to God. So for Catholics, Jesus’ life was sacred from the very opening seconds of his conception in Mary’s womb. So a big no to abortion.

“Thereupon Mary set out, proceeding in haste into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out in a loud voice: ‘Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb. But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby leapt in my womb for joy. Blest is she who trusted that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled’” (Lk 1:39-45).  Well Mother didn’t use the Holy Spirit to get pregnant, or the Holy spirit did not use her, nor was there much ‘blesting’ at the news, but fortunately abortion was not an option, even as a non-Catholic, that she wanted to pursue. Phew!

So Mother would have been told something along the lines of the following. Downs Syndrome is a disorder, actually a clutch of birth defects which derive from a problem with chromosomes resulting in heart conditions and intellectual disability and the telltale characteristic familiarity of the facial features. Basically instead of having the requisite 23 male and 23 female chromosomes, an extra chromosome is added to the mix, and having 47 chromosomes rather than 46 is not good and leads to Downs Syndrome. Well, he had straddled another hurdle in the great race to exist, and assuming that he went the full 9-months, it means with some nifty back engineering that he was conceived and came into existence at the sub-atomic level sometime in May 1963.

 

But these were troubling times, the era into which he was formed and later born. Troubling indeed. During the early 1960s the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) became the latest thing in military must haves for a superpower. Now there are always dangerous people around leaders with crazy ideas. The U.S., those defenders of freedom and liberty and the American dream, had an idea. Dating from 1957 the U.S. military postulated the thesis of  a preemptive nuclear strike against the then U.S.S.R. This gung ho attitude was rooted in the fact that the U.S. had an overwhelming strength in big stones to throw  at the U.S.S.R. The U.S. Air Force and CIA leaders apparently believed that a window of complete ballistic missile superiority would hove into view for a perhaps, note perhaps,  successful first strike in (late) 1963. This would of greatly limited his chance of existing, and quite a few other people, too. Thankfully somebody sane spoke up and the world did not descend into a Nuclear nightmare. Leastways not yet. Now back to a real nightmare. In this case which means that much vaunted home of excellence, British television. There was, and this is his distinct impression, nothing, shall we say stimulating on British television in the May of 1963. At least not enough to draw his parents attention to the television long enough to bypass the carnal urges that led to his conception. It must have been a night without the Black and White Minstrels Show, Liberace or something equally hideous to divert their energy. Something good on television, anything on television come to that, and the moment would have passed. For he was, as the counselor pointed out to him, definitely not planned for or wanted in any way shape or form beforehand.

 

Now  the subject of sex rears its ugly head. Head, rears, isn’t this all a bit naughty? Or as John Cleese stated, “Life is a terminal disease, and it is sexually transmitted.” Mother had obviously got the hang of sex by the time he was conceived. Leastways at the most rudimentary level of laying down, putting it in and jiggling it about it. Praying or at least waiting patiently until Father had finished. Mot probably planning dinner for the next day. One of her favourite phrases lent weight to the ‘rudimentary’ level theory. Speak in less than glowing terms of Fathers prowess in all things related to the sexual and erotic pleasure. Mother was often heard lamenting,

‘’I don’t really know what all the fuss is about.’’ Nice.

Mother really should have taken Monty Python’s advice.

 

Sit on my face and tell me that you love me

I’ll sit on your face and tell you I love you too

I love to hear you oralize

When I’m between your thighs

You blow me away

 

Sit on my face and let my lips embrace you

I’ll sit on your face and then I’ll love you truly

Life can be fine if we both sixty nine

If we sit on our faces in all sorts of places

And play till we’re blown away

 

However our hero had learned in later life just how naive Mother had been about all things sexual. Especially as a young woman.  A  young lady who came from an English village named after a Saint no less, was warned earnestly, with much wagging of the parental finger, not to lay on the grass with a soldier. A very timely warning as soldiers were much in evidence due to a war.  A big war and thus many soldiers. For those women who liked men in uniform, or part of it for a knee trembler, the war was a boon.  A fact which in fact led to a surfeit of men in uniform in general. He thought about this warning handed out to his Mother, and decided that it actually included all serviceman, and probably men in general. However Grandfather had highlighted soldiers as the main threat. Most  probably as he had been a soldier himself. Dirty old hypocrite, another man’s daughter was fair game! Back to the warning which basically proclaimed that laying on the grass with a soldier would result in her being with child. Pregnant, as if by a miracle. Most likely with three wise men no doubt seeking her out in the local hostelries with gold, silver and muir, or more probably a pint of bitter, silk stockings and cigarettes.

 

For him and for you, the process that would lead from the sitting on the grass, to the having a child are obvious and as old as the hills. A theatre played out by humankind since the dawn of time, but  one which it never grows tired of doing again and again. However for Mother the process was blanketed in a fog of  ignorance. Sex and reproduction had a taboo and a dirtiness as enveloping as a London pea-souper. The poor woman simply lacked the wherewithal to make the necessary leap of logic, to connect up all the dots. This was all down to her upbringing. Being raised in a small village was bad enough.  Being raise in a tiny world In  conjunction with the general  societal taboo in regards to all things sexual, which  was blanketing and completely uninformative, well, it equaled a disaster. So Mother was completely bereft of any sex education. Talking of things sexual was taboo. Even the word sex would have been spoken in three low, single syllables, S-E-X, behind a cupped hand with eyes moving shiftily from left to right, or right to left depending on the prevailing wind.

 

Mothers parents were by birth Victorians. The age of Victoria shaped them and moulded them into rigid inflexible forms. Sadly many people born in the Victorian era were both badly informed and emotionally frigid about sex and laying on the grass in general. Historically, it appeared that the fun and bawdy behaviour and attitudes of the let’s just do it Regency period were replaced by a new order of puritan control and repression. This new order of tight assed repression was heralded in by the newly dominant bourgeoisie. It then filtered down through the strata of the social fabric, permeating every class. Basically trying to spoil everybody’s fun. Its footprint lasted well into the twentieth century. ‘Lie back and think of England’, as one mother is famously said to have advised her newly married daughter who was anxious about the coming event. Very helpful.  From such an environment, with such ignorance, was Mothers upbringing shaped. Mother was not only uninformed of things relating to sex, but had to be chased to school by grandmother with a broom to learn anything at all. From this great village institution she gleaned very little and from which she was able to leave at the tender age of 13. The school not the broom. Mother then went straight to work at a  local mill. Ironically with a broom. She was bereft of education and lacked insight into the world in general, and sex in particular. Mother was adrift in life without much in the way of preparation, let alone parental guidance. But by way of consolation she did have a good broom. Bass broom.

 

What were the ramifications of being told to stay of the grass lest she become pregnant? Manifold. Mother duly adhered strictly to pavements, ardently to roads and other  man made reassuringly artificial surfaces, but not on the grass. Nope, not the grass. Especially if men were lounging seductively upon its velvety surface. Seen to be lounging on their backs supporting their weight on their elbows and suggestively thrusting their genitalia skyward, inviting her to partake of  immoral salaciousness. How signs reading, ‘’Stay of the Grass’’ must have taken on almost semi-erotic warnings. Inviting people to partake of such overt salacious behaviour. Disgraceful. Even when first married and living with Grandmother and Grandfather, aglow with news of her first pregnancy she asked Grandmother for information about the birth. This was  because for all she knew the baby would emerge from her belly button. And this she had stated was her opinion. Mother was bereft of any information. Full stop. So the following conversation ensued.

‘’Where will the baby come out of, Mum?’’

Grandmother was succinct and direct in her reply.

‘’Do you remember how it got in there?’’ she asked.

‘’Yes’’ replied Mother.

‘’Well, it’ll come out the same fuckin’ way it got in there in the first place’’.

And there you have it. The miracle and wonder of birth explained in unequivocal terms for Mother. There was such a veil drawn across the subject of sex, and whisper it quietly, reproduction, that even talking of it was problematical. Even for Mother being a married woman  and announcing that she and Father were expecting their first child caused a stir.  Grandmother didn’t mince her words. Grandmother called her a whore. To her daughters face, a whore, her own married daughter. Grandmother had been at the wedding, seen the service, heard the vowels and witnessed the swapping of rings. What more did she want? In fact the problem was selfishness. Mother had found love and been married relatively late in life. In her late twenties, distinctly late in that era. For her family she was an old maid. Left on the shelf. Grandmother had, in her mind, appointed Mother as the child who would always be at home to do her bidding. To look after her and Grandfather when they grew old and infirm. Add to this the fact that Mother and Father were married in February and Sister was born in November, it was all just to quick!  Not seemly. Oh, the love and support of a warm family unit. The tenderness and irreplaceable support of his doting Grandmother for his Mother. But that was just the shame associated with all things linked to reproduction. Imagine Grandmother and Grandfathers unrivaled angst, if God forbid, a person actually enjoyed the sensuality of the sexual act and took erotic pleasure from the activity. And of course there was a warning story which did the rounds  in the village to guard  against just such a disgusting state of affairs as sex, reproduction and laying on the grass in general.

 

A young lady, let’s call her Miss Erotica, did not pay heed to her father’s entreaty to stay of the grass. Maybe he used another substandard ploy instead. But which in all events went unheeded, too. Erotica did not just ignore the warnings of a life of loose morals. Miss Erotica flagrantly threw them out of the window of obedience as she followed the hormones and the desires coursing through her young sex hungry body. She not only laid on the grass with a man, but men, many men and showed far too much interest in sex and the biological ins and outs of reproduction. And heaven for fend, not for the sake of reproduction, but just to have a good hard fuck and reach climax. Again, and again and again. In fact she was so diligent in her pursuit of her lusts that she was branded a cock-hungry slut in the village. At this juncture it is best to clarify that Miss Erotica was smitten with the male sexual organ, in its rampant form, and not with the male ‘gallinaceus bird’ usually a male chicken (Gallus Gallus). Which would of undoubtedly got her into far less trouble, and may even have brought her invitations to County shows and similar rustic events, where cock appreciation could have been done openly and in a socially acceptable manner.

 

No, sadly for Miss Erotica her sexual enthusiasm was focused on the male member, and to celebrate her hobby her mother and father took her to a doctor. The expert duly declared, after examining her thoroughly, nudge-nudge, that she was suffering from a chronic disease. Yes Mr and Mrs Erotica, your daughter is a dirty cock hungry slut who fucks like an uninhibited whore. Can you bring her back next week for another check-up said the doctor wiping his lips with  handkerchief? No, there could be no mistake. The doctor was certain of the ailment afflicting poor Miss Erotica. She liked sex. Loved it. Was gagging for it. Couldn’t get enough. As a result of his expert diagnosis she was sent to a large building with barred windows, drugged and treated for her shameful affliction and removed from society. The local male community exhaled a deep collective sigh of sadness at the terrible heart-rending news. For Mother the moral of the message was clear. Neither talk about nor enjoy sex, an ethos she would pass on in Motherhood to her offspring in a diligent manner. But they would not listen.

 

Now back to 1963, and whether Mother was enjoying it or not, one of Father’s 1% life-giving super sperm was swimming towards one of her eggs with dogged determination. Just like the bombardier of a World War 2 Lancaster bomber over enemy territory. Egg in sight, penetrating now and fertilized, mission completed, and  back for a cup of Rosie Lee and a full English breakfast. Spiffing. By the way, all this reference to swimming is odd, as he would later show no tendency whatsoever to aquatic sports at all, nor bathrooms in particular. Especially  bearing in mind where our heroes Mother and Father first met.

Beginnings

 

We can regard our life as a uselessly disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness.’’

Arthur Schopenhaeur.

 

Walking with shoulders hunched over and alone on a drizzly English evening.  The road along which he walked was busy. Cars droned along, one after the other in a line of speed and lights. He stopped and looked up to his right. He had arrived. The house he spied was a normal, anonymous English suburban house. It had been built in the 1930s. It personified  a typically drab suburb of the general London conurbation. Or to be more precise, slightly to the south and east of London. Nudging actually into what was once Kent. The front garden of the nameless abode had long ago been sacrificed on the anvil of pragmatism. This meant flattening anything living and green, sweet smelling and natural with grey concrete. The purpose? So that a boring, white computer designed car just like every other soulless modern car, could be safely harboured overnight. In this case it was a bland Japanese car. The car had a name sounding as if it had been thought of by a high level project manager with no imagination. It had. The bay windowed front of the house was pebble dashed in what was once white, but which had slipped into a dirty grey hue. The aging double glazed window surrounds were slowly having their colour leached from them by the elements and pollution. In places the paint was peeling away from the frame. The front door came up to him. He noted that it had not been rubbed down and prepared properly before its last application of paint. The door was black with a small  half-moon of glass at the top. It sat waiting patiently for his approach on that dark, wet early evening. On the left there was a small black plastic rectangular box with a round white plastic button. It had been fitted in a haphazard way and drooped slightly to one side as if it had suffered a stroke.  An off white cable ran out of its left side and burrowed into the door frame like a worm seeking the comfort of cool earth on a sunny day. He pressed the button which simply sat back within the entombing black rectangle and singularly failed to do the one thing in life that it existed to do, namely inform the residents ensconced within of a visitor on their doorstep. Irritably he pressed the bell again, and this time, as the half-moon of glass became illuminated, he realized that the bell had finally worked.

 

A non-descript woman, if not exactly running to fat, at least jogging towards it in a determined manner, answered the door. She was topped by a truly awful hair style. Akin to a sullen pineapple squatting on her head, anywhere between 33 to 38 years of age, the woman not the pineapple. Dressed in an awful combination of navy blue tracksuit bottoms emblazoned with a sporty stripe and an equally dark cardigan. Why he pondered, do obviously non-athletic people seem to wear sports attire. She asked his name, to which he replied with nervous courtesy. Being on time, he was always on time, he was acknowledged by her and by the fact that she had been waiting for him as arranged. Mrs. Non-descript beckoned him into the house, and almost instantly directed him with practiced ease into a room on the right. The room was located a few feet after entering the house. Mrs Non-descript was adamantly guiding him into her office so as to avoid any meetings or cross contamination with her family. They lay burrowed  safely deeper within the family womb of their home. A hint of dinner wafted into the hall and a snippet of a child’s laughter floated on the air. Dinner smelt greasy, the child sounded stupid.

 

The room he was ushered into was small and rectangular in shape, tastelessly furnished and boringly decorated. Furnished with cheap furniture, most probably from somewhere the counsellor considered funky and modern like IKEA, or cheap-crap-is -us. Same thing really. The all-pervading feeling of crappiness and low the budget approach to her office furnishings was finished off with beige wallpaper. Sweet Jesus, not beige wallpaper,  he thought to himself. She bade him sit with a forced, tired smile. She was obviously more interested in being paid the money for the visit than at any attempt to help in the intervening 45-minutes. She then perched herself upon her swivel chair at her desk. The desk was suitably lined with academic books,  magazines with curling covers  and pamphlets. Some of the pamphlets were distinctly dog-eared. Only there for show as far as he was concerned.

 

So this was what a counselors office looked like. Not impressive. Time to begin the flensing he thought pensively. His fingers entwined, rubbed and stroked each other nervously and an embarrassed half-smile flittered across his mouth.

‘So how can I help you’’ she asked. What it just him, or was the pineapple staring?

‘’Well’’ he started to answer slowly and thoughtfully as he already felt her evaluating senses scan and analyse him.

‘’I need someone to talk to about various issues in my life’’.

Let the flensing begin.