Sometimes I can't cry unless I orgasm and sometimes I can't orgasm unless I stick a finger up my arse. I have to get out of the bath to speak to my Dad because I don't like to talk to my dad when I am in the bath, or when I have my finger up my arse. It's something about being naked, I don't know, it's like he can tell.
'Hello,' said Dad 'Hello,' I said.
I overstated warmth in my voice, he understated warmth in his voice. It is part of the agony of having a family, he said over the psychic airwaves. I have been working my entire life for you, I haven't even had a chance to read many books or see very much of the world. Wouldn't it be far greater to never have been happy, rather than knowing that I am going to die and make you cry. He said that over the psychic airwaves too, but as an ad-lib because my Dad is very selfish and rarely thinks about how unhappy I am going to be due to the fact that he is such a good dad and then he is dead. What was said in this conversation was very much irrelevant to the actual conversation.
'What have you been eating?'
'Museli and other wholesome foods'
'Egg, I suppose.'
'Have you been keeping warm?'
'Have you fixed the timer on the boiler?'
'No but we...'
'You must fix that Katie or you'll be charged a bucket full of money.'
Don't forget me when I'm gone said Dad, over the psychic airwaves.
There is something about being young that makes you think that you will never be old. I mean really, I don't think that I will die. I don't think that I will die. It isn't conceivable.
Dad passes the phone to Mum.
I know that he will go upstairs to play chess with the computer. The computer always beats him because it has a programmed move for every single move that Dad can possibly make. Dad is helpless and I don't know why he plays it. He says he enjoys taking part, even if failure is always inevitable. My dad is very morbid and quite boring.
'Very little is conceivable to you Katie, because you have no concience.'
'That is not true, I care very much mum. Very deeply'
'Shut up Katie. Where is my angora sweater? You are an immigrant.'
She doesn't understand anything.
'But don't you think mum, when do you start to understand your own mortality?'
I have pink sparkly toenail varnish on my toes, sometimes beautiful things very nearly make me cry. But mostly I cry from guilt. Sometimes I cry from the guilt of not noticing something is beautiful for a very long time and then realising when it is nearly too late. I smiled at my toes, I smiled like someone who wasn't going to die.
'You are going to die Katie. You are going to die just like me and your father. But first you are going to curl your hair seven-hundred and ninety-six times and eat four-hundred billion peanut butter sandwiches.'
My mum thinks that she is conveying affection of some kind by talking fondly of peanut butter sandwiches and me. She behaves brutally because she has had three children and they have ruined her waistline, she thinks I act flippantly with peanut butter. She is of a different generation, women from her generation are only alive until they stop looking good and loose the capacity to see the settings on the microwaves. I did not give a shit about her angora sweater- I wonder why sticking my fingers up my arse makes me feel guiltier than leaving my mother's favourite sweater at a party. I wonder what it would be like to die.
'If you have had a hard life, like your mother, you would know that it is not such a terrible thing to die Katie. I have had a bad life but I will always be there for my family.'
'What are you watching mum?'
'Eastenders. Speak to you tomorrow.'
'Can you call in a better mood next time? I'm suffering from a fucking depression here.'
'Stop watching Eastenders Mum.'
'Bye.' I whispered, 'I'm not going to die,' into the dead line and spent an hour in the bath.