Monday, 8 June 2009

Monday, 08 June 09

Wake up and lie in bed and play with my iPhone and check e-mail and bla.

The cat jumps onto the bed, purring.

The cat jumps off the bed.

For fuck sakes. The cat has weed on the bed. This means that I now have to get out of bed.

Here's a picture of the skyline beyond the mountains because I know you want to see...

I am sitting at the piano trying to play Tori Amos by ear. I have been practising Mr Zebra. I may be ready to give you a concert tomorrow. Or on Wednesday.

I feel that another snooze may be required.

Screw being bored. I am going to the gym.

I am at the gym on the cross-cable-pull-down-thingy. I am using it for pecs but someone else wants to use it for legs so wants to move the handles on either side to the bottom.

That someone is called Riaan. He is at Stellenbosch University studying agriculture. We are sharing the machine. I am trying hard to stop myself from giggling.

He is at least 6-foot and a good old-fashioned, oats-fed Afrikaner boy who grew up playing rugby and shooting animals with a rifle. (My assumptions...)

I guesstimate he is 19 years old but with biceps as thick as my legs. The latter is fact.

If I could fold you up in my pocket, I would take you.

Gym at the Somerset West Virgin Active at around 5pm is like being plonked in a live version of the French rugby player calendar. The difference is that at the gym there are no cameras.

There is a soft porn gold dump ready to be mined here.

Driving home from gym I stop to take a picture of the sunset. Here it is...

This is the second time in an hour that I have raised my eyes to heaven and thanked god for the beauty of nature.

I am enjoying the vegetables and chicken breast my mother has cooked. She asks if I would like gravy on the meal and I say no thanks. I have also said no thanks to boiled potatoes too.

She takes this as some sort of coded insult.

"I don't know why you can't just eat like normal people" is how it begins. The start of a chorus my mother has chanted for as long as I can remember.

It has been a near record though.

She has managed to keep herself controlled for around four days, nine hours and 37 minutes but finally the floodgates burst open because she can't keep the bile in any longer.

Her rant is now nearing its conclusion.

What started with me saying no thanks to potato and gravy has ended with her crashing the dishes in the sink and slamming the kitchen cupboards.

It's the percussion accompaniment to "I don't know what we've done to deserve this. All we wanted was a normal son" etc.

That's what happens when you say no to the gravy!

Without wanting to labour the point too finely; to my parents "normal" means that by this stage I should be married to a woman with a child and another on the way.

This is what "normal" people do.

"Normal" people eat chicken with gravy because by 31, normal guys shouldn't care what they look like.

"Normal" people don't spend weekends at clubs in Green Point - a "notorious" part of Cape Town like Soho is "notorious" or the Castro district is "notorious".

"Normal" people deserve a "normal" son. Not some non-gravy eating weirdo whose circle of friends is made up mainly of guys who, when they call, have to go off to another part of the house to speak.

I am sitting in front of the TV and I haven't said anything in the last two hours which means my mother is as angry as she was when the flood gates burst.

"I don't know why we bothered..." she says to my father, slamming the kitchen cupboard.

I am on the phone to Alex. We have agreed that tomorrow we are going to drink vodka and Coke after Alex has finished his exam.

I am sitting in my old bedroom with the door shut, at my old desk listening to Radiohead's Reckoner. I am 31 years in less than 12 hours' time. This picture is pathetic.

My parents are now ignoring me because they've gone to bed and not said good-night.

Screw them.

I have pulled out the memory box.

Memory box includes old diaries, books, school uniforms and LPs I once bought as a kid. Such as...

Does anyone know, recognise or remember this?

Rummaging through other olden-crap, remembering when I was young and naive and perhaps even a little innocent.

Do you know? I like me now. I am the person who I wanted to be.
I like my friends. I like that I hang out in Soho or Green Point. I like that I am gay.
I like that I don't eat potatoes.
I like my life. I am happy with who I am.
I am proud and I have nothing to be embarrassed about.
No, I am not "normal". Fuck all the assumptions about what being normal means.

So tomorrow I turn 31.

And perhaps, inadvertently, I have learnt the best lesson possible.

Dear Mum and Dad,

Tomorrow your only son turns 31 years old and the funny thing is is that all your bullying, passive aggressive tactics no longer work.

Tonight all the bitterness that you feel came out and I stopped listening. You need to adjust your prejudices.

To be honest, I stopped listening years ago. Tonight, for about an hour you got to me.

But I was quickly reminded that what you think no longer matters to me. If you want someone normal who'll do what you say, listen intently and obey your orders then get a dog.

I don't want to sound ungrateful or spiteful but this is who I am. If you don't like it. Tough.


I just have to re-read this to myself the next time my mother starts slamming the cupboard doors and mourning the disappearance of her "normal" son.

The funny thing is, is that my parents have two dogs who they love and adore. One older and male, the other a younger female. Just like my sister and me.


Timmy said...

I am going to Fort Worth, TX in a couple of weeks to visit Joe & Helen (aka my parents). If offered gravy, I'll definitely say "HELL YES!"

fleetmonkey said...

Is the dog a non-tatty and gravy eating batty boy as well? I get a motherly rant most days - but she's down the road from me.

These descriptions of nice muscle boys is a high point in the day - will have to go and look at your local talent on shagdar.

How come the memory box is in SA as opposed to with you in Londinium?

Stephen said...

... maybe it's not a desire for an obedient child who will do as he's told... maybe they just can't see that your life is not theirs. Yo have your own dreams, and you are your own person.

Jake said...

Happy Birthday!

You going to see Tori in concert in London in Sept?

Anonymous said...

Dude, it's just carbs and fat. No biggie.


You're turning 31?

Scratch that. My mistake. From 30 to 40 you start swimming against the tide.

It's hard getting older and staying fabulous, but it's worth the effort!!!

Alfred said...

Happy birthday Bobby.
I thnk you are enjoying your party.
I should sing a song for you.Happy birthday to you,Happy birthday to bobby ........