Saturday, 24 September 2016

John's Polite Requests






Mother,


Aunt Bess recently got in touch to say you want to have a "truce" to discuss why I'm not talking to you any more.


Well, first of all a truce as you put it, would signify that there had been some form of hostilities between us. The truth is a little more mundane and can be described as me ignoring you as you are insufferable and stubborn and refuse to face responsibility for your past behaviour. Far from a "truce" the past 2 years have been more of a gigantic "Ignore".


That aside, if you do meet with me to discuss yet again what I've tried to talk to you about for the last 25+ years with absolutely no fucking success then there are to be a few polite requests from my camp.


Here they are:


1). You are forbidden to start any sentence with the words "I'm just saying" or "All I'm saying is".


2). You are also forbidden to use those words, in that order, anywhere else in a sentence.


3). If you talk to me LOUDLY AND SLOWLY to accentuate your frustration in that I cannot see the righteousness of your stance, then I will simply tell you to fuck off and then walk out.


4). Mentioning that you were forced to leave school to become a waitress at 16 by my grandfather because he said that he couldn't afford to pay for you to take your O levels (and then went on a safari holiday) is also out. You so much as fucking DREAM of thinking about mentioning this and I will throw something at you, tell you to fuck off and then walk out. I have spent most of my life being subjected to you moaning and whinging about this. It happened when you were 16, you are now pushing 68. Get the fuck over it.


5). Saying anything along the lines of "And there's that other thing, and I know you don't want me to talk about it so I won't but I'm just saying" violates rules 1, 2 and 4 and only illustrates your complete lack of respect for other people's wishes, not to mention your determination in bringing up this traumatic experience of having to actually get up and go to fucking work every bastard day like 95% of the population of the sodding Earth do.


6). Remarks about my clothes, long hair, tattoos, piercings or choice of vocabulary are also off the menu.


7). Assuming you are obeying rules 1 through 6 for more than an hour, you are forbidden to bring up anything I did as a baby be it sitting on a pony eating a Mars Bar (while sucking my thumb), saying "Ello Darling" like the Artful Dodger, or that I loved my toy unicorn.


8). If you fail to ask how my sister is within the first hour of us meeting I will simply leave without explanation. She hasn't spoken to you in nearly 20 years because of how YOU treated HER. Show some fucking enthusiasm.


9). Chats about my eldest cousin are also out. He may be paying 40% tax, work hard and have a lovely family but I still shudder at the memory of the time he replied "I lend people money who I know can't pay it back" when you asked him what he did for a living.


10). If I bring up the subject of my paternal aunt and you make ANY excuses to justify how you treated her (i.e. fucking appallingly) up to and after when she died, then I will also get up and walk out.


That about covers it. I've no doubt you'll find a way to take offence at everything or something that I've said above and use that as justification for not talking to me by claiming I've been rude so I'll make it even simpler for you with a second option below.


Second Option

Fuck off you old cow


There. Nice and simple.


I await your response.

John

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Genie


In a small red box on the sagging top shelf on the left hand side of my bedroom is a genie. I’ve had the genie for ooh, about 12 years. I found the genie quite by accident one day while pottering along doing my normal, everyday, run of the mill things. 

I found an old oil lamp in the middle of the road and picked it up, absently mindedly rubbing the tarnish with the sleeve of my favourite denim jacket.

With a “KABLAM!” the genie suddenly appeared, right there in front of me and was shimmering with promises and delights that I believed only the genie could give me. I thought the genie was magnificent and beautiful and she didn’t promise me three wishes.

Instead the genie was just friendly and pleasant. 

Thing is, I never thought I needed 3 wishes from the genie. I was happy in the genie’s presence and happy to even SEE the genie every day. I mean, not everyone has a genie do they? I was privileged just to be chosen by the genie to be the genie’s friend.

Not wishing to scare my genie away I was always very polite and never deliberately rude (well apart from the time she heard me belch and seethed “Lance! I kill you!!”). However, I was also never too polite or forward with my emotions. I mean, I feared that the genie might get scared off if I showed too much genuine emotion so I kept everything on an even keel.

After maybe one year of having the genie as my friend I stopped paying my genie so much attention. I still remembered her and thought about her but I was too preoccupied with other things and then after an even longer time I recalled that I had ignored my precious genie. I felt so guilty and realised that my genie was probably hurt by me ignoring her the way I had. 

The worst thing I could imagine was that my genie didn’t want to know me any more. So I picked up the lamp and put it in the small red box, on the sagging top shelf in my bedroom.

For a long time it stayed there, gathering dust and then one day I realised that I was just looking at a box that contained the answer to a long unsolved mystery.

Did my genie hate me or worse….had my genie forgotten me?

So today I took down the small red box from the sagging top shelf and removed the lamp and with trembling fingers I rubbed the lamp for the first time in a long time. 

Instantly the genie was there and she smiled at me and her brown eyes twinkled and she said “Hello, Lance. My…it has been a long time. How are you?”

I smiled back and said sorry to my genie for ignoring her. I apologised for my behaviour and if I’d made her angry. The genie listened to me then smiled again and leaned forward to kiss my lips. She then put her smoky hands either side of my face and said “Lance, I do not simply live in that lamp when you are not here with me. Did you really think I just stay in there all the time? I go other places. I mean, you’re a fantasy author! You know that portals exist to other worlds. I have other friends and a life when you are not here. I will never stop wanting to hear from you and never stop wanting to be with you BUT my life goes on every day. You should know that I thought you were angry with ME because you just disappeared and didn’t call me for so long. I love you, don’t forget that but don’t think I judge you for everything you do. We all make mistakes. I have feelings too and I am very glad you found me again.”

The genie and me then walked and talked and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company and when it came time for her to go, I kissed her goodbye and she went back to the lamp. I put the lamp on my mantlepiece and threw the red box off the sagging middle shelf in my bedroom away.

The lamp now sits on my mantlepiece where I can see it every day. Sometimes the genie comes when I call. Sometimes she comes when she wants to. Sometimes she doesn’t come at all.


But the genie is always there, somewhere.