“That’s another thing I don’t understand,” my mother interrupted the livestream of my incoherent words, “Why you – of all people in Rsa – should save those poor sick souls in that desolate wild land? You aren’t a doctor!”
For a second, I stopped my confused revelation and asked myself, “Really, how did it happen? Why am I here? What was the reason in the first place?” To my shame, I realized, the answer was quite simple – perpetual horniness. After the divorce, my body and mind had been constantly plagued by a profound thirst for romance, by which I mean fucking a real woman instead of jerking off to images of explicit porn or the tight bathroom conversation with Thatcher’s smile.
“I used to ask myself that all the time, Mom… I guess I just got caught up in the middle of it all. So, to speak, unfortunate circumstances… Or maybe the God of Luck, Shai, brought his misfortune down on me? Because as it is written in the divine instructions of Amenemope: ‘Do not set your heart upon seeking riches, for there is no one who can ignore Shai; do not set your thought on lustful matters, for every man, there is his appointed time’.” I cited.
Armadillo Jack looked curiously at my blushing face, awoken by the heat of the conversation in the dwarfish room of his personal restoration.
“Don’t be so melodramatic!” hissed my mother on the phone.
I gave a weak smile towards the damp wall and continued, “I’m not a brave man, Mom…”
“I’m glad we agree on some things,” she replied with satisfaction.
“And I’m not a saint either… Don’t worry, I’ll make our family proud!”
“It’s better this way,” she concluded before delivering the latest gossip from Rsa.
My parents lived half an hour from my town in a small village called The Big Pump. My mother was the gossip queen of the community thanks to her unique position – she was the book club chairman and a local fortune-teller. The book club was named ‘Anime Antiqua’ and often charged members (who had not had time to read the whole book or could not answer my mother’s carefully prepared questions) penalties.
Without asking me, she shared the information about her latest read, Ann Radcliffe’s book, The Mysteries of Udolpho. She told me that during our short conversation, she noticed the similarities between me and Emily St. Aubert, who had been kept imprisoned by her rapacious guardian and his sadistic wife. After those words, I attempted to break my mother’s sick ideas, making an effort to convince her that my arrival in Hamilton’s Kingdom is not a Gothic battle in some gloomy medieval fortress, and most of all, I’m not an orphaned hero with melancholy fancies or pensive visions. Of course, my mother didn’t agree with me because she saw The Mysteries of Udolpho as a landmark of psychological pre-Freudian exploration of the psyche.
“O Heavens! Am I a psychopath now?!” I exclaimed, feeling that I was losing the verbal war. But as always, I had to accept that my mother was right, primarily, when she passed on the dangerous information from Mr. Vegas and Mr. Domination, which had been transmitted via the local channels for the past week. Apparently, my name was top of the most wanted list in Rsa.
“Can I get you anything, boy?” asked my father’s voice in the far distance.
“He can’t hear you, Pilgrim,” my mother replied to him.
“If you are unhappy about your penis, then it’s fixable,” my father continued. I heard the fight near the phone. It seemed that mother defended her position, and not only with the words. Something heavy dropped on the floor, and she sighed, “It is so hard to be a mother.”
Then, she extended our chat and overwhelmed me with various suggestions about the medical books I should read. She even came up with a couple of dangerously mad plans to escape Gunung Kinabalu without a fight.
I sat and listened, but my heart was full of anguish – I understood, more clearly than ever, that life goes on. Nothing changed in Rsa: the hard-boiled life joyfully passed from one to another, so-and-so would vanish or die, and nobody cared about it.
I didn’t hear how the door opened, and the Sherriff entered the room. The rays of the sun behind her were like orange velveteen, and it gave a warm glow to her surprised face.
“What is that?” the Sherriff hissed.
“What is what?”
I tried to give my voice as much innocence as I could. Then, I followed her angry gaze to my right hand where the screen of my unfinished call shone in blue and green, and the voice of my mother shouted, “Take a picture of this barbarian, I want to see if she is real… she speaks like that witch, Martha…”
I quickly ended the call and demanded, “Let us go; the humidity in this room is unhealthy for my jaded brain cells!”
The anxiety mixed with terror escalated in my voice. I could almost read in the armadillo’s eyes: “If you can’t handle some tiny chick from the Screw Quarter, how the fuck are you going to handle 11,000 bitches at the Farm.”
I began to climb up, pressing my back to the moist wall, but I fell.
The Sherriff smirked, looking down at my funny position: “You are a good doggie, Doc. Okay, hurry; Alphonso Beard is waiting for your arrival at the Warrior Farm.”
I silently followed her out, crawling on all fours. Why? Well, I guess it’s just the romantic in me…
Next post – Blue Humor