Mother (Episode 27).

9 08 2016

It was one of those bright sunny days when the garden furniture finally came into use. Even the parasol went up as by lunchtime the sun was directly overhead and beginning to burn our winter pale skins. We chatted as always about anything and nothing, a quiet spell suddenly broken with mother raising herself from a recliner gasping about the window cleaner coming today. He’d disappeared some weeks ago causing much speculation in the neighbourhood. After persistent phone calls mum had finally tracked him down and he was coming today. His window washing equipment had broken down hence the absence. Not long after the phone rang, but by the time either of us could reach it the caller had rung off. They had left a caller ID however but mother was reluctant to call it back just in case it was the same people who keep calling and asking for her bank details. ‘I wonder if he is cancelling? A rummage through draws followed. Mother had kept the window cleaners details somewhere, and if she found them we could establish if it was him who had called. Failing to find them mother called the neighbour, but the neighbour had given the details to someone else so didn’t have them. A follow up call established that the person she had given them to had lost them, so no luck there. ‘Fancy giving the details to someone else. Honestly’.
Still none the wiser, accumulating tensions erupted into a shrill, ‘I don’t believe it,’ when Mother realised that the phone she’d been trying to answer had been an obsolete one replaced by a newer hand set last year. Sensing the tension I rummaged further for the information mother had kept about the window cleaner, a voice in my head warning me about the perils of laughing out loud. ‘Found it’ I shouted with an effervescent amount of relief. ‘Where did you find it?’ me pointing to the draw in the living room where mother had just rummaged. ‘I knew I hadn’t thrown it out. What’s the number?’
The delayed window cleaner arrived with his equipment in tact and proceeded to jet clean mothers windows, the deflating tension freeing me to go upstairs and change mothers cracked toilet seat as promised. Of course the door bell rang just as soon as I had crammed myself into a tight space between the toilet bowl and the bathroom wall, and it wasn’t going to be easy to get up again in a hurry. But try I did, mostly egged on by Green sleeves continually chiming from an over amplified door bell.
Free from a tight corner, sweating, steamed up glasses, a toilet seat cover over one forearm, I made it downstairs to the front door and pulled it open. ‘Is your mother there?’ A small women with a crooked neck looked me up and down in a way that made me feel self conscious. ‘I’m not sure where she is?’ Another quizzical look, a tightening frown, proceeding an announcement about her reason for calling. ‘Can you tell your mother that I’ve found the details for the window cleaner’.



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