Background: my brother, The Artist, is an amazing mind who builds sculptures the size of garages and out of anything at hand is studying at TAFE. While his artistic works and general knowledge are impeccable, sometimes his organisation of ideas into an assignment format is a little confused. So, once he does the work, my Mum helps him arrange it into readable chunks.
7:24am. Tuesday morning. 14 million people in a crowded train carriage.
My phone rings. Already embarrassed, I hunt around in my Mary Poppins handbag. Phone located, I see that it’s my Mum. Why would my Mum call me at a time when she knows I am in a busy train carriage?
“Hi, sorry, I know you’re probably on your way to work. How do you spell ‘suicide’?”
I lower my voice to a whisper. “Uh… S U I…”
I can feel the enquiring glace of other commuters around me.
“Hang on a sec. I FED THE CAT! DON’T FEED HER AGAIN, SHE’LL VOMIT EVERYWHERE. REALLY, SHE’S NOT HUNGRY. SHE’S GOT NO CONTROL AND WON’T STOP EATING. Right, go on.”
I’m certain everyone in the carriage has heard this detailed account of the cat’s eating disorder. I’m also certain that my Dad will go ahead and sneak the cat some extra chow, only to find that she will throw up shortly after.
“C I D E.” Now I am really feeling targeted and have spotted a few questioning eyes.
“I thought so. I just wanted to check. I am helping The Artist with a TAFE assignment. We’re up to July 27 1890, when Van Gough went off into a field and shot himself with a revolver.”
Thanks Mum, very informative.
“Ok, well I better go.”
“ Thanks for your help love.”
Ah, nothing like an injection of domestic bliss in the morning. Since this day I have made quite a point of flipping that silent switch before I mind the gap.