Twenty to Forty

da vinci foetusPEOPLE MIGHT WONDER. They’d say things like, “Why don’t you quit?”

Well, truthfully, I couldn’t. I was illiterate, innumerate and ignorant. The three I’s. Blind too for the most part.

Starting young, that’s a positive thing in most fields. Almost savant like in talent if you can get started at a young enough age.

My act was hardly going to set the world alight. Unless, you doused it in petrol, an unlikely event don’t you think?

I couldn’t even remember how it all started. It wasn’t my fault.

Nope. Mum was to blame.

Then she went and named me Chester. Wasn’t difficult to figure out the inspiration behind the name.

Anyway. If your mother doesn’t love you she’ll kill you. With kindness preferably, although there’s a certain torturous lethargy to it that other options don’t abide.

Every breath you take…” Who sings that? Wait…nope…yes! The Police. Fucking hate that song. Actually, there’s not a person alive who can hate the bass on it. I hate the lyrics, to be specific.

Never mind.

I guess the positive is, it didn’t cost a thing. Mum took care of it. She went to the shops. So what I’m saying is, I went to the shops too. Nothing I could do about that. No choice. Attachment issues.

Whether it occurred indoors when nobody was around, or while leaning out of the back door, I felt it. Maybe I could hear the heart beat quicken, the lungs inflating and exhaling. Realistically nobody remembers that part.

One word to describe Mum? Passive.

I think that’s about enough.

It took me fourteen years to reacquaint myself. Old habits die hard. You’d need brain damage to wilfully start smoking. Thanks to those twenty to forty, I did. Might as well have puffed every nicotine addled cigarette Mum did.


She knew.

But she did it,


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