Why?:Don't You have a Girlfriend Yet?
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"Come in," I say slamming the laptop screen down, possibly over zealously.
"Hey, honey," she says with a mawkishly clingy voice. I nod and smile in recognition. "Me and your father were just talking to Ken and Mary from across the road..." Oh fuck, I think to myself, still smiling fixedly like a pacified child killer, they want me to take up Bible study again. "And they told us that Gareth has got himself a girlfriend!" She says as if this is the unveiling of a huge birthday surprise.
"Really." I say, disinterestedly envisioning the now inevitable rape-murder news story two weeks from now. You see, I’m sure Gareth is a psychopath. His eyes are too close together and he’s the son of a priest, which means that no one should suspect him. I’m keeping my eyes open.
"Well, it got us thinking, Rory, why don't you have a girlfriend yet?"
I mulled the answer over in my head, momentarily considering telling her about my obsession with the life, works and anatomy of Christopher Eccleston or implying that simply none of the bitches are good enough. Eventually, discarding the self deprecating “lack of confidence” angle, I tell her that “I used to have one. You just weren’t important enough to tell.”
"Oh… I see," she says, her soul audibly fracturing. “Well, maybe you could tell me next time. I’m not just your mom, you know, I’m your best friend too!” Not coincidentally, I almost threw up that undercooked dinner she forced on me earlier.
"Sure, mom." I say grinning, as if reassured. “Oh, and maybe just stick to bog standard chicken tomorrow, yeah? Don’t want any more of that packi curry stuff,” I add, knowing that she’ll warm to the racism.
"Anything for my little soldier," she says, proud of me again.
Two years and fourteen days after this, I find myself on the staircase staring through the window of my sister's giant doll house. We were apparently cutting it up for fire wood. Not because she had grown out of it or anything, she was four, she had simply voiced her desire to marry Nagaraju Burugapalli (I was damned impressed she could pronounce that in all honesty) when she was older.
I'd been talking to Father - who was currently supporting the other end of the dolls house on a lower stair - about going to see that new movie, stressing that Angelina Jolie would make an appearance. This lead to the inane topic of girls and conversely which orifice one prefers.
“Yeah, when you’re older…” He says, grunting like a walrus being stabbed in the spine as he pushes the house up yet another arduous step. “I’m gonna have to take you to a real doll house. If you know what I mean.” Like the rest of him, this expression was very fifties, and it indeed took me a while to understand what he meant. “That reminds me, actually, why don’t you have a girlfriend yet?” We are now up more than half way up thanks to his most recent hernia. He chided, “You’re not a fag, are you?”
“What?” I asked sounding confused. ”You want me to let go?” I comply.
I look on casually as he topples back down the staircase, the doll house rolling over him. He crashes into the side of it and it gives way under his – “all muscle” – weight.
A few days later, he wakes up from his coma; loving nuclear family surrounding him. I’d been forcing my “I misheard him” fairy tale down the throats of anyone who’d listen, so that when he came to, I could call dementia.
Idle chit-chat was tossed around for a while until Mom finally decides to get down to business. “So Bernard, what happened? Our little soldier didn’t let you down, did he?”
“What do you mean, Rory? Why would I tell you to let it go?”
“Well that confused me actually, was hoping you could shed some light on it?”
He thinks for a moment “Hey! The last thing I said to you was “you’re not a fag are you?” You pushed me!” I flashed the nurse a look that told him of “*sniff* all the years of abuse I’ve had to put up with from this drunken crate of lard!” and, in addition, that "I wouldn’t mind getting to know you better".
So the social workers came and went, concluding that dad was, in fact, “not properly recovered from his injuries at the time of the outburst” and for the next two years, perhaps deservedly, I ended up changing his diapers. Not pleasant I assure you. So bad in fact it prompted me to join the army just to get away from the cripple.
A light drizzling of twats hung around outside the bus waving and cheering as two of the local boys went off to die needlessly for a county they don't even like, they just know of nothing better. Gareth the priest's psycho son sits next to me on this cattle chart.
"So." He says chewing gum in a mindlessly hyperbolic fashion. "You gots yourself a girl yet?"
In a moment of dazzling clarity I thump the dork in the face and drag him into the isle. The other passengers simply watch as I throw Gareth onto the driver causing the bus to swerve madly. Oncoming traffic smashes and tears into the bus with several large and dangerous explosions. All in all seventy-two people die in the ensuing pile-up; mercifully this number includes me.
Well not really, as it happens I end up being shielded by the bodies Gareth and the driver. After the explosions calm down and before the fire-trucks get there I pick my way through charred flesh, hot metal and the burning chewing gum that was on the bus seats. Managing to fake my own death by a subtle ID switch.
This, pretty conclusively, ends my old life. No more uncooked food from the tall woman; no more bigotry on wheels shouting "Change me, Hippy" and no more planting false porno under my mattress!
My new life cruising for guys goes swimmingly for the next four years, even after nearly sleeping with Uncle Ray (a separate story entirely but I will say this, gimp masks conceal identity really well, more criminals should use them) right up until about when I kill that man in the public restroom.
After an exceptionally erotic and mutually satisfying glory hole session I decide to come face to face with “Mr11inchGirth”. We get chatting, casually lounging by the urinals none too surreptitiously eyeing up those with too much pride to go outside.
After a while he begins to mention relationships. The words “So, why don’t you have a…” with hindsight I can imagine that he may have been about to say “boyfriend (already?)” but at the time I could only foresee the word “girlfriend” and so I promptly snapped his neck and dumped him, unceremoniously, in a cubicle.
Five years after that mishap, I’ve calmed, found a steady boyfriend, we’ve settled down and tried to have kids (no one told me that it doesn’t work like that). We figured it was probably time to tell the parents so reluctantly I return to suburbia.
“Hey mom!” I say as I open the door. I hardly thought it possible but she actually managed to become a shade of Caucasian paler than normal. As if she’d seen a ghost.
Stinking of Febreze she embraces me. “You're alive!”.
“Euch,” I say in disgust “Get off me!” I push past her into the kitchen/living room area, and Darnell follows. I nonchalantly help myself to some chicken as mom floats into the room. “So where’s dad?” I ask nodding to the empty wheelchair. “Football practice?”
“Oh. erm, no. H- he passed…”
“Sure, whatever” I say with a flick of my hand. “Look. I just came here to remind you of that time, way back when I was fourteen, that you asked me why I didn’t have a girlfriend…” Her eyes flick frightenedly to Darnell, conceiving the idea but not allowing herself to think it. “Well at the very basic level it’s sheer disinterest.” It was about now that her heart imploded but I plugged on none-the-less. “Cos you see I’m a bit of a sodomite.” Her face hit wall as she collapsed. “And I have a thing for blacks as you can see.” She convulsed and the wall collapsed. “Basically that was all I wanted to say so I guess I’ll be off now.” I finish.
“That’s it, Jackson.” I say turning to man beside me in the retirement home "Why I've never had a wife".
“Fagit.” He croaks before going back to the important business of sucking his gums.