She had short black hair and brilliant bottomless eyes. Her face was sharp and unflappable, like an early-April sky after a much-needed storm. It had a clarity that hid nothing.
She had a kid too, a little boy who took an immediate shine to me and giggled as I carried him on my shoulders. She even had a small white cat that rubbed itself against my hand and purred. She had everything I wanted.
On our first night together we sat on a messy bed in a small, slightly oppressive room that was brightly lit, trying desperately not to say what we both felt, that we had each found the person with whom we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives. It was then, and only then, that we realised we could communicate telepathically.
The next thing I remember, she was crawling into bed – a different bed in a different room, with ambient lighting and plush furnishings – with a darker man much bigger than I. He was Indian I think and totally naked. His penis, semi-erect, was shaped like half a horseshoe of thick meat. She nuzzled it as she crept across the blankets. Her eyes locked to mine, she said, ‘He’s a very generous lover.’
By then we were living together, and I had to get out of there. Devastated, I began trawling through our dirty old house, looking to grab a few of my things. But there was nothing. I had no possessions. Dejected, I reached for a segment of tangerine that I found in a drawer. When I put it in my mouth, however, I realised it had already been chewed and spat out by the old woman who was suddenly sitting next to me. As I began fishing it out of my mouth with my fingers, she apologised.
Then I woke up.
That’s what my subconscious served up after finding out last night that my mum’s situation had significantly worsened. She was leaking bile, and in agony, and had to be opened up again and restitched. Worst moment was holding the cardboard hat under her chin as she vomited in a manner not dissimilar to the little girl in The Exorcist. Closely followed by watching her trying to sign the operation consent form from deep within a morphine and tramodol haze. Now she’s in intensive care.
And we’re going in.