My mother. May a Jellybaby explode in her mouth.
The rest of my family don't seem to have the same level of aggro with her so it must be just me. Right?
Maybe I'm not as tolerant as them, maybe she doesn't rub them up the wrong way like she does me, maybe we just have a personality clash.
Or then again maybe not.
Maybe she's just a miserable old bitch who takes great delight in ruining what was otherwise a very fucking pleasant -if mildly painful -evening.
Last night I was sipping on a Baileys, ice packing my knee and waiting for 'Dead like Me' to start when the phone rang. I picked it up becaue it was on the arm of my chair.
'There you are,'my mother said in a voice that made me twitch. 'You didn't tell me your (very best friend) was buying a site.'
'You know you didn't!'
I shrugged, but then remembered she couldn't see that, so I grunted instead and moved the icepack higher on my knee.
'I saw her there last week, up there, her and that other fella.'
'So there's a site notice gone up on the gate yesterday.'
'How do you know it's her?'
'Her name's on it! Hers and his.'
'So what, they're building a house.'
'Well you should see what type of house they're planning!'
'How do you-'
'I was in Wicklow town planning office today.'
'And you looked at their plans?'
'Well sure aren't they there to be looked at! And it's up the road from me... it better not effect my line.'
'Jesus, how the hell could it effect you? It's three miles away!'
'So you DID know about it!'
'She said they were THINKING about building up there.'
'I can't believe you didn't think to mention this to me.'
'What's wrong with you anyway? You're so cranky this evening.'
'I've a swollen knee.'
'Kick boxing.' I glace down at my leg, 'Or it could be from running on concrete actually.'
I stiffen. 'Excuse me?'
'Don't you think it's time you gave up all that ould nonsense?'
'Which nonsense woud this be now?'
'All that ould fighting and stuff. It can't be good for you, you're always getting bangs and scrapes.'
'I'm planning to do the Dublin marathon in October.
'So I hear.'
'Who told you? Etheline?'
'She mentioned it. I think you're mad.'
'Ah, at your age, starting that now... you'd need to be running the whole time.'
'Night and day?'
'I have nearly eight months to train, that's plenty of time.'
'You'll do yourself an injury, that's what you'll do.'
I grip the phone so tightly my knuckles go white. I resist saying anything that might be deemed as cursing, imflammatory or down right rude.
'Was there anything else? There's something I want to watch about to come on.'
'I asked your sister to come down to Kilkenny with me on Saturday.'
'Only she can't can she, not with the children.'
'It wouldn't hurt you to take them off her once in a while.'
'I do take them.'
'She didn't ask me to mind them on saturday, if she had asked I might have taken them.'
'You should offer.'
'I'm not a mind reader. If she asks me I'll mind them.'
'Sure I'm asking you now.'
'Fine, I'll mind them.'
'Oh you needn't bother if it's putting you out.'
'I just said I would, didn't I?' And now my voice is starting to rise.
'It's the way you said it.'
'It's the way you asked.'
'Well I'll call her back and tell her you were kind enough to take them for a couple of hours.'
There is silence. I don't break it and neither does she. After a second or two I hang up.
Then I fucked the phone as hard as I could across the room, breaking it in the process and wrenching my knee.
And Dead Like Me didn't didn't come on! Some show called Heroes came on instead.
And this morning I must go into town for a meeting, and I don't like meetings. No, I do not.