On or off

It’s not easy being mother to 3 boys. And for her it’s particularly hard. Prekids we always assumed we would have girls. She didn’t really like straight boys at all, except for – strangely – me and Andy. And I didn’t really like straight men, in those days.

My father struck me as very strange. He was either on‘ – being the life and soul of the party with his ‘clients’ (he was in advertising) – or ‘off– sitting in the sitting room with the curtains drawn to shield the tv screen from sunlight, watching the racing…

As with you, films were the thing I found that connected us, specifically Errol Flynn movies on BBC2 on Saturday afternoons…

He made lots of money in his career, and I always felt: Well, making money did absolutely NOTHING for his state of mind… (He’s always been depressed, if you ask me.) So I will do something else… ART (for want of a better word…).

Since I got ‘better’ this year, I can’t help feeling quite pleased with myself. I moved back here, partly to ‘be there for the kids’. But she just won’t accept it. She could feel glad – it’s certainly made her life a little bit easier. But it wasn’t ‘her idea’, me moving back like this.
When I was ill, I just gave her all my ESA and PIP, and lived for free at my parents. I was always going to die next week, at the latest, so I didn’t want them. But – moving back to the Green – I actually needed them for myself.
She has just got stuck in a groove being ‘outraged’ by how selfish I’m being ‘spending all that money on myself’. But state benefits are a pittance! I live quite cheaply anyway, with free movies and free music. Everything takes me ten times as long as a ‘normal’ person. I occasionally go to London. I don’t buy clothes. I haven’t been abroad since 2015. It’s fine by me (and a lot better than at my parents‘!).
So her reaction – how selfish I am! – just seems hilariously wrong-headed. But it’s HER reaction…

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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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