The phonecall, part deux.
Nothing seemed to help.
I called my mother.
A woodbine-y voice answered. 'Herrro?'
My hackles stiffened, raised and wilted consecutively. In other words they did nowt, but I felt like they should have. I did however pull a face.
I considered hanging up, but she might *69 me or some shit. No, I decided, it would be best to blunder on.
'No, it's Cat.'
'Oh it's yourself.'
'Yes.' (I am frequently myself)
'Looking for your mother I suppose Cat?'says she, in a voice that says 'Cat? you mean look what the cat dragged in, ingested and vomited back up on the good rug'.
'Yes, is she there?'
'And sure why wouldn't she be?'
This question always confuses the life out of me. There could be any number of reasons why my mother might not be home, but listing them all off would only have me branded an even bigger smart arse. I resolved to let it go.
'We never see you at all these days.' My Aunt continued. 'Too busy I suppose.'
Is 'I don't like you therefore I avoid you like leatherette.' too rude a response? I let that go unsniped at too for I sense my Aunt has never forgiven me for half garroting her awful lump of a son and almost killing him with my palomino pony when we were children.
So I wait.
Nothing happens. I play with Puddy, sticking my toe under her pink flappy belly and waiting for her to grab at it with her little flidy paws. Ouch, hee hee, ouch. Some more nothing happens, Puddy wanders off to eat her body weight in dry nuts, the skies darken and I am still on the phone. Perhaps my Aunt has nodded off. Something is required of me. What could this withered piece of walking bone marrow want?
'So er... how are you Aunt? Everything good I hope?'
Twhack! That's it, I hit the Cat family ball clean out of the park!
'Oh now, sure how could it be? ( again I could- ah forget it.) My sciatica is playing up something fierce these days. Never get a moment's peace with it I don't, and then I was down getting a check up in Doctor Steven's last wednesday and -he rushes a person something awful that man, I much preferred Doctor Quinn-'
'He never rushed me, now there was a man who actually listened, but sure I suppose when your time is up it's up, but Docter Steven now, he thinks that clouding in my right eye might be...'
I close my eyes, but I can hear some one screaming 'are you my mother's sister? say it with me, ARE YOU MY MOTHER'S MUTHAFUCKIN' SISTER?'
Samuel L Jackson?
What the hell?
After an interminally long period of time, somewhere between the deaths of people I don't now and her neighbour's (them Clarks) barking dog, my Aunt pauses for a breath and I pounce.
'If you wouldn't mind Aunt, I just need a quick word with my mother, I've got people over for dinner and I-'
'Oh, throwing a little party are you? Ha ha, you're so grand these days.' she says, making 'so grand' sound like 'such a stuck-up cunt.'
I should point out that my hideous bitch of an Aunt is one of those people who hates restaurants and thinks dinner parties and so on are just us lot 'getting notions above our station'. It should also be pointed out that my Aunt might not feel this way if she had not married a man who wouldn't put his hand in his pocket to scratch his balls and she deeply resents us all, whether we put on airs and graces around her or not-which we invariably do just to piss her off.
' Not a party, silly,'I say making silly sound perfectly like "you filthy old geebag" 'Just family.'
'How nice, it's so good that you've all mended the fences after all those years fighting.' She lobs back effortlessly.
'Yes it really is. Speaking of family I'm sure I saw Dervla earlier. She has changed so much! I wasn't sure if it was her or not and oh, ha ha ha, you know, I didn't want to grab a complete stranger. She was with a friend, big lady, blonde. She doesn't have her nose pierced by any chance, does she?'
'I don't believe she... oh look, here's your mother now. Good to talk to you Cat, take care.'
And she was off faster than if the hounds of hell were chasing her-as if she couldn't train them to heel and sit in under an hour.
'Mam!' I said grateful to hear my mother's voice, a first this year.
I asked my mother for a loan of her hoover and she said she'd drop it over. In the background I could hear my Aunt bash plates around with gusto.
Wretched creature. I might fight with all and sundry every now and then and like eating with people, but at least I don't try and pretend my perfectly lovely adult lesbian daughter and her partner of six years are 'just friends.'