…Why my mother has taken to signing off her texts and emails to me with her name ‘Oby’? Is this a trap?
Look, I am not paranoid. I just know my mother and living with her has prepared me not just for rolling with the punches but rolling away from them. My mother was very Old Testament we were growing up; swift to take offence, swifter to act still, delivering those dreaded mouth flicks that made you feel and look like you pissed off a few hundred bees. It was as if Jesus never happened. She’s only little so we all decided that the best retribution would be to grow taller, away from the knocks on the head and those ear-yanks that made you suddenly realise just what spirits did with the ear of a dog.
(Okay, I still don’t know. But whatever it is, I’m sure it hurts like shit. I am not swearing. I mean one of those obstructive ones that make your day worse on coming out so that it would have been better if they stayed on the insidewhatamIdoingdiscussingthiskindofnonsense?)
I swear my mother once pulled my ear so hard that for a week or so I was like Spider Man. I could hear butterflies in flight and smell rain even when the skies were bright blue. When I told her I could smell the unwashed liver smell which was the sole preserve of our house help Petrolina on the carpenter Pius, she knocked me so hard that my hearing returned to normal.
“That’s for spying,” she said, before giving me half a bottle of coke as a reward.
You see why I am so well-adjusted. And why I became a journalist.
Nevertheless, I shan’t take to calling my mother Oby , thank you very much. When it rains my left knee still hurts from the first – and last – time I attempted it as a joke and she threw a high-heeled shoe at me.