Hello Mum

Dear Mother,

Hope you’re sitting comfortably and that your wheelchair wheels are as well oiled as I am.

‘Evening all’ as George Dixon would say (while flexing his knees and adjusting his incontinence pants.) As you know the motel business took a turn for the worse so I took a short holiday in Wales! “NEVER A BLOODY GAIN”.

They are not only the most miserable people in the world but also scary in a sort of creepy weird way. All them Trevors and Dais, Megans and  Myfanwys, all creeping around like latter day pilgrim fathers and mothers, still burning witches at the stake and hiding their three legged weans in secret little inbreeding towns in the middle of nowhere; places with unpronounceable names so that no one can ask how to get there. Now I know that I am not exactly a full chess set, but God they would give anyone the willies. I didn’t even get to see too many of the sights; I was too scared to venture out as the whole bleedin country is like a remake of ‘28 days later’.

Anyway, I managed to sneak back across Offa’s Dyke and made my way up to Glasgow where I am sitting with 4 books to be read on one side and a half written paragraph and writers block on the other. Unfortunately I haven’t got readers block and have just checked my bank account. ‘Account’ in fact is another one of the English language’s ironic antonyms. To be honest it tells an abridged version of a short-story’s summary.

This has tended to concentrate my mind and I find that John Donne’s perceptive statement ‘No man is an island, entire of itself’ may actually contain a modicum of revealed truth.  Having said that, I must admit that I never actually believed that I was an Island (there lies the path of anthropomorphic insanity gone totally mad). I know for a while that I did believe I was you, but what young man doesn’t believe he is his mother at some time or another? I also know that I confused myself with the dog and cat and occasionally the budgie but these were mere fleeting moments of a wild imagination and the sign of a youngster exploring the fundamental essence of his psyche. But I never really believed I was an Island.  I did view myself as constantly flitting like Heisenberg’s chaotic electron somewhere between such a glorious solitary existence and the more gregarious prominence of a pensive peninsula.

I suppose in moments of totally natural hallucinogenic contemplation (by the way is the Beatles’ Day-tripper about drugs in a similar way to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds) I regarded myself as more like a Lindisfarne incarnate. At low tide I am joined to the rest of the human condition and reachable by foot (and I don’t mean a kick up the erse) but then as the moon exerts her gravitational pull on the swaddling waters, I become almost godlike in my Olympian seclusion.

Once more I sit alone, save for my demons, mobile telephone, DVD recorder, and copy of ‘The Anthropic Cosmological Principle’ secure and serene. Elbow on knee, chin in hand, Aristotelian thoughts sparking fizzing and incandescent in my mind, I transcendently brood on all things temporal, spiritual and in-between. I have started to take a rather worrying interest in showers, curtains and bread knives, but that is probably another passing fad.

Today to occupy my time I committed myself (ha ha – just a little joke) to producing some home made beer from nothing more than an old washing up bottle, some sticky back plastic and half a ton of seaweed that I secreted out of Wales. Things didn’t go too well and it tasted oddly reminiscent of the sea, until I came across, hidden at the back of the sink cupboard, a secret magical ingredient which said on the side of the box…. ‘Guinness home brew – just add water’. I didn’t even need the seaweed but included it just to give it some body.

Anyway back to the issue in hand, or rather ‘the money not in the bank’!

Don’t worry this is not a begging letter (yet). It is merely the outpouring of a mind ravaged by radioactive seaweed and whose alcohol content has risen above critical mass. I can understand now how the reactor core at Chernobyl felt as meltdown approached. Oh by the way, ‘Doctor Who’ just isn’t what it used to be with all that snogging and stuff, although I must say that I wouldn’t mind getting in a shower with that Amelia Pond and a shower curtain and breadknife.

Where was I?

The crux of the matter is this. Tomorrow I am going to go job-hunting!

I don’t want to strain myself too much on my first day, so I will go up to the job centre and register. This may seem easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to all you sharp-eyed people of the world but I have never done this before! I mean I can run a motel, look after you, hide bodies and ……well actually not much else. Wait a minute I am really good at impressions of you.

Anyway. Here in Glasgow there are two tribes, just like our Sioux and Crows. They are called Tims and Huns. I am a Hun by all accounts, also known as ‘a suppurating blue nose’. I would like to be a Tim but they aren’t keen on people who put bodies in car trunks and hide them at the bottom of swamps. I know, as you always said ‘It takes all sorts’.

My real reason for wanting to be a Tim is that I really fancy being a priest and never have to work again. I find myself somehow drawn to sitting in a confessional box (which reminds of a tasteful shower cubicle) while on the other side of the gauze my next victim…. I mean penitent….. solemnly intones the catchphrase ‘bless me father for I have sinned’!  I can see and hear myself guffawing with gusto as I exclaim…”You call that a sin! Let me tell you young woman about some of mine…..and how about sharing a shower with me for your penance”!

Sadly I think that I am probably not going to even get an interview for the ‘collar dollar’ (he he another wee joke Mother) as I am of the Cathartic tendency and heretically believe that earth is the Devil’s realm and we are at the moment going through hell; a hell where showers, shower curtains, wheelchairs, motels and breadknives don’t exist.

Did you know by the way that in the reign of the English King John (he of the Magna Carta), the Cathars of Southern France (also known as the Albigensians – hence the heresy) were ruthlessly murdered? No attempt was made to distinguish Cathars from non-Cathars on the principle that when they got to the big gates, ‘God will know his own’. These Tims know how to enjoy themselves as well.

Anyway it is the job centre for me, where I shall bear my burden tomorrow and swallow my pride. After all body and soul must be maintained in harmony, council tax must be paid, alms for the poor should be catered for and I’m sick of porridge, porridge, porridge….with bleedin salt as well!

It was of course trick or treat (they call it Halloween here and think they invented it – I think the Welsh invented it. Wales where every day is Halloween – I think I’ll suggest that to the Welsh tourist board.). As I was absent-mindedly flicking through my Latin copy of Newton’s Principia in the evening an urgent hammer of my ‘children-repellent’ door knocker (it is connected to the electricity supply – next door’s that is) reverberated around the elysian vastness of my chambers.

I squinted through the semi-transparency of the blood stained windows, but there was no sign of a visitor. I opened the door and there at my feet lay a polythene covered yellow pages which at first I automatically picked up, tore the wrapping from and returned to the living room to place it under the coffee table.

It wouldn’t fit. Peering underneath to determine the problem, I espied a 6 year collection of yellow pages, north and south Glasgow, Thompson’s local guides, what’s going on in Glasgow, and a bit of black pudding from a long-forgotten evening of bacchanalian revelry, that whoever had previously occupied the flat had obviously kept as a keepsake.

There were, more’s the pity, no bodies.

Pulling out the tomes and nibbling at the black-pudding carefully to ensure that I didn’t get any extraneous fluff in my mouth, I found myself comparing the appearance and disappearance of businesses, people, and events over those six years with Darwin’s (Alfred Russell Wallace was actually first) theory on natural selection and the survival of the fittest.

It appears that in Glasgow the key characteristics to ensure survival as a business or tradesperson is to run a tanning lounge, massage parlour, bookies, pub, social work or law practice. Any attempts at manufacturing, innovation, or academia are notable by their dodoesque absence. It was then that the precariousness of my future prospects hit me with all the delicacy of a ‘Rank Film’ intro.

I had to make a decision. I could return to the sanity of a drink soaked existence, get a job, or sign into one of Scotland’s two health Spas that go by the name of Leverndale and Carstairs.

Unfortunately the drink soaked option requires dosh, and living at a spa with like minded individuals just sort of bored me.

I will therefore try to return to gainful employment. My tanning hairdressing lounge with onsite masseuse, bookie, solicitor and citizen’s advice bureau will (when the broo provides the up-front finance) open next Thursday. I have of course included a bonus of a free shower following every visit…..and a freshly sliced piece of toast personally delivered.

If that fails however, visiting days are Mondays and Thursdays.

Missing you already mother.

Send me a tenner via paypal will you and when I come back I’ll unlock the basement door, put your hair back on and take you for a hurl.

Your loving son

Norman!

P.S. I’ll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do… suspect me. They’re probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I’m not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching… they’ll see. They’ll see and they’ll know, and they’ll say, “Why, she wouldn’t even harm a fly…” 

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