Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dear Sylvia.

I hope this letter gets to you. I have no idea if Paradise Beach is still your address. Now with your whole family no longer living in Bristlehead, I have no way of knowing exactly where you are.
Sylvia, I am sure you are wondering why I would be writing to you after a decade of not being in touch. I think the last time we saw each other was at our graduation dance. You still went with that Robert guy. Oh, yes, Bob McKay. Whatever happened to him? I always thought he was a bit of a nerd. And those buck teeth of his really needed seeing to, but you seemed to be having a good time, so I suppose it didn’t matter to you.
Anyway, I’ll just get straight to the point. The last time I saw your mother was at Uncle Albert’s funeral. She looked quite close to kicking the bucket herself and it was hard to understand everything she said, but she repeatedly told everyone that you are married to a wealthy dentist or doctor or something. Dentist. I’m sure she said dentist.
So in actual fact that would mean that you are the only person I know that has money. And it is that that I need, Sybil. I need money.
I have had enough, Sybil. I rue the day I went with Billy English in his car to Lover’s Peak. I should have left this Godforsaken place as you did.
I am sick of my children and sick of my Billy. They tire me. They tire me non-stop. I need to leave. The children have been off school for the Christmas break which is too long, but do you think the government cares how mothers feel about this? No, Sylvia, the government does not. The government only cares about making money from increased taxes and robbing the poor. If they can’t care about better teachers and better schools, then why the hell would they care about mothers going crazy during the holidays?
You see, Sylvia, I really have to go. I snapped today. And it was rather ugly. I hit Jack rather hard. In fact, he actually has a light bruise on his face. I got crazy. I had told the children numerous times to tidy their room, turn the telly down, to stop fighting, to pick up their toys...  I just couldn’t take it anymore. I fetched a belt from Billy’s cupboard. I’ve never hit the children before, even though I have threatened them. So, I fetched the belt from Billy’s cupboard. When I got back to them in their room, I missed the look of terror on their faces, that I’m sure must have been there. You see Sylvia, I just didn’t care at that point. I just wanted everyone to listen to me. Just to listen to me for a change. No one ever listens to me and I am sick of it. I got tired, I just got tired, Sylvia. So I hit them and the belt was whacking the walls and the door. It flew past the blind that went crashing to the floor and knocked over Jack’s Thomas the Tank Engine collection that I got for him for his Christmas from The Heart Foundation charity shop in Goldcrest. Bristlehead is now so poor that even the charity shop no longer exists.
This is what I have thought: If you could send me some money, a little every month, then by the end of the year I should have enough to leave.
I need to get out of this one horse town with all these small town hicks. The shoe factory is all that is here now. I need a better life, Sylvia. And I need your help.
Your cousin, Cecilia.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Special Scrapbook

Scrapbooking is a wonderful method of keeping memories in an interesting and unique way. It’s not necessary to keep photos in plain photo albums, often without any captions. Scrapbooking allows you not only to put photos on attractive backgrounds, but also captions and decorations, including perhaps something like an entry ticket to an interesting tourist spot that you’ve visited.
Once you’ve sorted out your photos, you can group them into different themes, like birthdays, weddings, Christmas and school. At the moment I’m working on a before and after project. I have chosen eight photographs for a double page spread.
I select backing paper of either solid colour or patterns that will accent the photographs. Then I get coordinating ribbons, stickers or any other accessories that will add interest to the pages. Both pieces of plain board are topped off with a strip of the patterned board and I can now start to position the photographs. The largest ones I place in the middle, with the smaller ones either underneath, or above or scattered around the page. Play around with the photos and accessories to see which sequence works best. Once you have decided on that you can stick them to the board, remembering that it is very important to use acid free pens and adhesives when attaching the photographs and writing any captions.
So, here we have my completed double page layout, my ‘Before and After’ theme. The ‘before’ focal point is a large photograph of Henry. Henry smiling his big, toothy smile. The three smaller ones I have positioned on the right hand side of the main photograph; Henry in the swimming pool, Henry skiing, Henry on his beloved Harley, with a Harley badge next to it that makes a good effect.  Then the ‘after’ page I have positioned differently, but as you can see they complement each other perfectly. The three small photographs I have placed at the top; Henry looking shocked, Henry screaming and Henry full of blood. The focal point is the large photo of Henry in his coffin and I have stuck a piece of his hair next to the photograph.
Yes, that’s the story those two pages tell. The brief life of Henry.
It’s important to keep these pages in the correct plastic sleeves and in an album made specifically for scrapbooking. Memories can then be carried down from generation to generation and everyone can remember what is truly important. Like not leaving your wife for her sister. Or telling lies. Henry should have known better.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Asking favours

-          Hey, how ya doing?
-          Hi, Angie. I’m good! Good, thank you, how are you?
-          Great! We’re all great.
-          Barry and the kids?
-          Oh, yeah, they’re great! They’re great too. How’s George?
-          He’s very well. Thank you for asking.
-          So, um... So what’s news?
-          Nothing. No news really.
-          No news?
-          Hmm...No.
-          How the dogs?
-          Oh! That’s news. We have a new addition to the family!
-          Really?
-          Yes! We decided on another Labrador. A gorgeous golden Labrador and we’ve called her Shona, so no more lonely days for Bruno.
-          Oh. Another Lab. That’s great. That’s really great. I’m happy for you.
-          They are so lovely together, the two of them. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll have a few puppies.
-          Yes. Maybe. Great. That would be really great. Er...listen, I actually need to ask you a favour.
-          A favour?
-          Yes. A favour. It’s only a small one. You won’t really have to do anything.
-          I won’t have to do anything?
-          You won’t have to do anything.
-          What is this favour then, Angela?
-          It’s just that I want to go away next weekend and was wondering if you could, er um just in case anyone asks, if you could say I’m with you?
-          I should say you’re with me?
-          Yes.
-          And why would I do that?
-          Because I’m asking you.
-          Because you’re asking me?
-          Yes, because I’m asking you.
-          Angela. I don’t hear from you for months. And then when I do eventually hear from you, it’s because you want something. And what you want, is for me to lie for you.
-          It’s just one small favour.
-          I’m interested in why you want me to lie for you, Angela?
-          It’s just that I want to go away for a weekend with a... um friend and I don’t really want to have to explain to Barry.
-          So how would you explain this to Barry, Angela? That your sister that you never see or bother to keep in touch with is now having you over for the weekend.
-          Maybe he’ll just think we’re having a reunion.
-          He’ll only think that, if that’s what you tell him, Angela. Have you thought what you would say if he phoned while you’re supposed to be with me? Or what would George say if Barry should bump into him and say ‘oh, how was the weekend with Angela and Karen?’
-          He wouldn’t do that.
-          How can you even say that? You don’t know!
-          Please, Karen.
-          Why, Angela? Why would I help you betray your husband? Why would I do that? You have a family. You have children!
-          It’s not that simple.
-          It never is with you.
-          Please, Karen. Just this once.
-          No, Angela. No, I won’t be part of your betrayal.
-          Please, Karen.
-          Angela...

Monday, October 18, 2010

A year after your death

A year after your death I was still drinking.
I had sex with your husband and was virtually bankrupt. I slept on your cold gravestone many a night. It amazed me that the rose bush planted in memory of you bloomed almost all year round. I ate some of the petals I’m not sure why, but they made no difference to my state of mind. Your children are gone now, your husband too. They couldn’t live without you.
But I had no choice.

I know how some things happen

I know how someone can end up with a long grey plait down their back and the inability to speak.
I don't want to leave my house. I want to shut myself away and not speak and just be in silence. That would mean never a trip to the hairdresser again.
So, I'll grow the long grey plait down my back.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All I did today

All I did today was lie in bed and day dream and pray to win the lottery so that I can buy a house of my own and considered becoming a prostitute, but realised there just is no way I could ever make money like that. I look like shit.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Father Said

My father always said... As true as God made little green apples, As God is my witness, I swear to God. He said alot of things about God. I wonder what God is now saying about him - seeing as he murdered my mother.