It's my life...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mother's Day cont.

Had to stop yesterday – too shattered to go on, so here’s what happened. I’m standing there wondering whether this is a good idea and if I should just clear off, but there’s Andy’s voice through the intercom. ‘It’s Jazz,’ I say, ‘I’m on the run, can you let me in?’ and I’m looking through the glass door to see who’s about and keeping one eye on my back and an ear tuned for the sound of sirens when there’s the buzz and I push open the door and go inside. And then Andy’s coming down the stairs and at first he doesn’t recognise me but when I speak he does and his face falls to pieces and I’ve never seen him look like that before, as if he’s naked and nothing can be hidden.

‘Bloody hell.’ he says, ‘let’s get you upstairs before anyone sees you’, and then I’m in his flat and telling him everything that’s happened. And I’ve forgotten about the bin bag, and he looks sidesways at it and asks how I know the old girl was stealing our rubbish and saying that maybe the dolls are not even in the bag – maybe it’s just garbage – and what was I thinking of and we’d better have a look and I say ‘Whatever.’

So he opens up the bag and lets out this huge sigh and tips all seventeen of them on the carpet and I grin cos I was right after all. I get down on the floor and line them up on the settee, make sure they’re okay, that Marz hasn’t hurt them and while I’m doing this he just sits and watches but I don’t care cos I’ve got them back and they all mean something special to me, especially Candace who’s just like a real baby – same size and everything – although she doesn’t need nappies thanks.

He doesn’t say much after that, only that he’s due on duty soon and why is he doing this as it’s putting his arse on the the line and that I’d better get the make up off and he might have something I can wear so I can just walk right out of there and go home. Twenty minutes later I leave dressed in black jeans, tee shirt and anorak, hair tucked into a red baseball cap, the dolls and sari crammed into a rucksack. His last words to me are: ‘Make sure you ring me tonight.’

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mother's Day

I didn’t ask Marz why there’s only me cos the answer rose up inside my head – pictures of old women knitting and dolls, naked and dismembered, lying on dirty sheets in back-street bedrooms. I hope I’m bloody wrong but I really don’t want to know for sure.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Call me (senti)mental but I bought Marz a bunch of daffs and a soppy card from Tapan and Binita’s, cooked her bacon and eggs and toast and orange juice and tea and took the flowers and everything in to her on the yellow tray. She laughed, said she reckoned I was going soft in the head, but it could’ve been worse.

Afterwards she got all dressed up as if she was going clubbing. I asked her if it was a good idea to go out when she’s still not better, but she trotted out her old line of Who the hell’s the mum around here and I bite back back before I can stop myself with Not you, that’s for sure and the door slams and she’s gone.

So I sit there all on my own wondering about Andy and if I should ring as he said to but something’s stopping me, so instead I go down to Tapan and Binita’s and we drink char and she shows me two new saris and says that if I want I can choose two of her old ones as her wardrobe’s getting full. And this starts me off thinking about Danny again, and how good it was when I went to the hospital all dressed up, so I ask Binita if we can do that again and she smiles and nods a lot and shows me the black hair dye she’s bought and points to my pale roots and we laugh.

And a couple of hours later there’s me in the street in a blue sari counting what’s in my purse and wondering if I should catch the train and surprise him, and then I’m at the station and on the train with the houses whizzing by and feeling sort of elegant and quiet behind the dark stage make-up that Binita had bought in case I wanted to be Indian again, remembering that I’ll have to say I’m Danny’s sister like before.

I’m really nervous as I walk up the drive to the hospital, hoping the receptionist won’t hear the blood banging in my head. But it’s easy this time, and in a minute I’m in the day room and Danny’s up out of his chair giving me a hug. He looks better than he did the last time, his eyes are quieter, less haunted somehow. And he talks, and I listen, and that’s so good, even if I had to change colour to make that happen, to find a way in. They bring us tea, and then the afternoon’s gone and it’s chucking out time, although the staff are more polite to me now I’m not Jazz and I smile and nod and hug Danny goodbye thinking that maybe being his sister’ll be enough.

I let myself in listening out in case Marz had come back, imagining what she’d say to see me in this get up, but it seemed she wasn’t home yet. I was tired, needed to lie down and rest, maybe even sleep, although it was barely eight o’clock. But my room seemed different, tidier somehow, and I stared around not knowing for a moment what’d changed before it hit me that all the dolls had gone. All seventeen of them and I couldn’t believe it and just stood there like a dork. I wandered though the place looking in the cupboards, the drawers, surprised to find that Marz had picked up all the stuff from the floor in her room and put it away, but still no sign of the dolls. What the hell had she done with them? It hit me then and I ran out to the dustbins at the side just in time to catch the old woman who lives next door shuffling up her steps with a bin bag. Course I’d forgotten that she wouldn’t recognise me in my Indian get up, and as I touch her arm and start talking about how the bag probably has my stuff in it she starts to yell all this stuff about thieving darkies and shout and scream as if she’s being mugged and I’m panicking and two kids across the street are looking and one’s getting out his mobile so I just grab the bag from her and leg it and it’s bloody tricky to run in a sari and I can hear her screaming blue murder behind me but I don’t stop or look around and I’m thinking that I can’t expect to get away dressed like this then all at once I’m outside Andy’s and ringing the bell.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Catching up

I’ve been too worried about Marz and so busy catching up with college that I’ve let this slide a bit. But she seems over the worst of it now, tho she’s still a funny colour and hasn’t any inclination to go out. That sleaze Marco from the bar rang up, says if she’s not back there by the end of the week she’s out on her ear. I told him ‘Thanks, she’s dying in the next room – that should just about finish her off.’ ‘I’m not a bloody charity for retired toms,’ he said, so I gave him a mouthful and put the phone down. That’s probably the end of that then. I didn’t tell her he’d rung – what’d be the point?

Funny thing is that it’s kinda good to know where she is, even tho she’s getting pretty demanding now she’s a bit better. But she’s off the hard stuff, and that has to be a good thing.

Been looking out for Calla, but haven’t noticed so much as the smell of her and her moth-balled red boa. But on the way home today I heard footsteps behind me and the next thing I know is that Pete’s walking next to me and I’m telling him to fuck off before his crazy girlfriend tries to beat me up again, and he’s saying, ‘Yeah, she told me. How’s that for love, eh?’ and I’m saying that if he doesn’t leave me alone I’ll… but I don’t get the chance to finish because coming towards us is Andy in his uniform and Pete takes one look at him and disappears like the rat he is. They say you’re never more than seven feet away from one. And I’m like… gobsmacked, but I act cool and Andy says ‘What’s happened to your friend?’ and I say ‘He’s no friend of mine,’ and Andy says ‘I’m glad to hear it, because that one’s bad news.’ And then he looks at me, kinda soft, and says, ‘You never rang me,’ and I almost fall down on the pavement. But I tell him about Marz and he asks if she’s seen the quack as if he really cares – I mean really cares – and I tell him no, but she’s nearly better now, and he says he has to go, but I’m looking better too, not so starved, and don’t forget to ring. And I’m wondering if I should feel mad at that but somehow I can’t, and thinking it’d be good to have him as a brother, and why’s there only me when Marz has been pretty active in her day. Maybe I’ll ask her tonight.