She told me to fuck myself today.
One minute, silence, the next there it is. Shocking, embarrassing, and unsightly, like the drop of mucus hanging from the nostril of your neighbour as he wishes you a good morning. You don’t know whether to mention it or deny it, but you can guarantee that from this moment on you will never be able to concentrate on what he’s saying without checking the cleanliness of his nostrils first. “It’s only a ring, mother.” The heavy emphasis on the start of the word that fades to a drawl that she knows will make me grit my teeth in restraint. She smirks. I raise my eyebrow. Flashing eyes and pouting lips dyed red from lipstick and plump cheeks housing a mind that thinks it can do what it will. “You could’ve asked.” I think she knows I’m right. I’d like to think that I bought her up with at least some morals. “You weren’t around.” Yesterday evening? Just before the evening news turned to consumer programmes and soap operas? Did you check the balcony my dear? “It doesn’t matter if I was or I wasn’t. The issue is that you took something that didn’t belong to you.” I briefly entertain the idea of striding into her room, picking up the entirety of her CD collection, and smashing it with the two pound hammer that I bought at the hardware store last week. I’d like to see the point sink in then. “Next time ask, young lady.” I hope this rattles her as much as her derogatory term rattled me. Sullen eyes that evasively study the drying forms of the egg yolk and bean juice that appear on the plate before her suddenly look up at me, and I wait in anticipation of an small, pathetic apology. “Go fuck yourself!” She twists the ring off her finger and throws it onto the table. It bounces off the wood into the bowl of corn flakes that I was eating, and sinks. Her thundering feet spell her progress down the hall and out the front door. I look at the cereal. You couldn’t tell that there was a silver wedding ring with a polished ruby in there. I pick up my spoon and fish around for the ring, drain the milk from the spoon and go rinse the ring under the kitchen tap. I slip in back onto my finger. It’s the last time I’ll take it off to put on hand cream that’s for sure. “Was that Jane I heard leaving?” My husband stands in the doorway, sunlight hitting his bare chest, hair still messy from sleep. I sigh, look at him, then think of our child. “She told me to go fuck myself today.”dl.06.05.01