Passing Wind For Payment…

Roast Turkey with stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, cabbage 

Lentil curry with boiled rice (v) 

It was a tough decision as I loved roast potatoes; the turkey could get stuffed. In the end, I settled for my vegetarian option with lentil curry. As a now committed vegetarian, I asked for carrots and cabbage to be placed on my plate. The lentils did not enjoy the flavour that I had expected from a curry; they were bland and the vegetables were a little soggy. It acted as ‘fuel’ as my dad would say so I got on with it. Food was fuel. It was like petrol that was pushed into an engine to make it work. I was past the time of timber and was enjoying a period in which I started to fill out in the places that were seen to be the right places. I was, according to some of the catering, and care staff, a growing boy; a young man.

Although I had my own phone, I never remembered to phone home. Dad used to do a little thing with his finger. He would stick it up into the air, put on a semi-strangulated voice and say, ‘Phone home’. He always found this quietly amusing whereas Mum just rolled her eyes. I think Mum loved Dad and he loved her. That was before the woman in purple came to our house. After that, I think they ‘grew apart’. Perhaps having me and my troubles was too much for one relationship to stand. Perhaps, if I had been like my sister (not a girl but someone more neuro) things would have been better. Perhaps I would have remembered to call home more regularly and would not have had to have been called in to speak to my key-worker. She was called Sophie and she was quite nice – she smiled a lot. 

“Your mum has phoned us to ask how you are at school,” Sophie explained with a big smile.    

I went home every weekend so it would have been easy for my mum to ask me herself, but then again it would have been difficult as she tiptoed around me for most of the time or else she snapped at things that I did, had always done.

My mother never spoke to me over the phone, why should she? What she did was to use intermediaries in the way she did then. The intermediaries then communicated with me and I would then process what had been said. These types of conversations were often the best ones that I had with staff. Okay, they smiled but there was always a concrete end-product that explained what the interaction was all about. There was the usual nonsense concerning how things were at home. ‘Fine’ was my reply – I did not mention anything about my sister.

“Your mum thinks that you may be worried about something.”

That one of those door-stop questions, the one that neuros ask when they want to keep their mouths propped open. There is the thing with neuros, they place so much emphasis on talking. It’s as if they believe that what they say actually means something. Words, I have found, are just exhalations of air that rattle on their way out. Kieran makes more sense. There was a French man who made a living out of expelling air. He was called Le Petomane and was a flatulist (a professional farter). He was able to fart at will because he had absolute control over his abdominal muscles. People paid to see him and he made a good living. Sometimes I thought about the habit of speaking and realised its true worth. 

“Well, is anything bothering you at home?”

Plenty of things, not least the fact that my mother was wasting her time chasing me up at the only place where I could get some peace. Instead of answering, I shrugged my shoulders in exasperation and stormed off.  

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