I arrive home from work. I am exhausted.
Every fuck-wit and nut-job in the county have phoned each other.
FW: What ya dee-in?
FW: Should we all gang together and bombard Tired Dad with idiotic tech-support calls? Howezz. It'll be a chuckle. He's probably not had much sleep, and he gets really touchy when he's knackered.
NJ: Aye. Alreet.
I hang my coat on the back of one of the dining-table chairs. What I want - all I want - is to spend half an hour on the sofa with the small people climbing on me, pulling my hair and gouging my eyes. I want to sit with them and make sure they eat their dinner properly. I want to listen to their largely incoherent tales of the days' events. I want to bath them. I want to get them in their P.J's. I want to snuggle on the sofa with them as they drink their milk. I want to read them their story. I want to kiss them goodnight. And then I want to mix myself and Tired Mam a bloody stiff drink and do nothing else until one of the buggers wakes up.
I notice Tired Mam is in bath-robe and has wet hair. Something is amiss. She seems to be preparing for an event.
TM: Oh hi. I've invited Dempsey and Makepeace around for dinner and some drinks. That'll be nice?
I feel myself wilting. Instead of slipping into my hoped-for vegetative state, I shall now have to be witty and amusing all night. Which, as anyone who's read this will be aware, is not one of my strong suits.
TM: Here. Feel my skin.
She flashes a length of thigh. At this point I would normally be concerned; since the birth of Favourite Son (ONE BLOODY YEAR AGO) I have experienced something of a dry-spell in the romance department. However, a couple of weeks ago, TM's libido returned with a ferocity so alarming I have begun to fear for my physical well-being. But no. The small people are still up. They will protect me.
I feel her skin.
TM: Isn't it soft? Smooth?
TM: I've been saving the coffee-grounds from the cafetiere. I'm using them as a body-scrub. And using cinnamon essential oils.
Her skin is indeed soft. And she smells like an outlet of Starbucks.
You know that scene toward the end of Finding Nemo when Dora is chatting to Nemo, completely unaware that she and Marlin have been desperately searching for him for the last 90 minutes, then suddenly the whole film's narrative flashes through her brain in about one second flat?
The bathroom. The pint glass. Brown sludge. Hellman's Mayonnaise. Fear of immense psycho-sexual dysfunction in at least one member of my family.
Coffee bloody grounds. Who would have thought? (Thanks Sabrina.)
Tired Mam has obviously noticed a far-away look on my face.
TM: What are you thinking?