I am on the phone to a colleague. He is quizzing me about something document related that I really ought to know but it's as if they are asking me about what I had for breakfast on 4 March 1994. Outlandishly distant. Vague snatches of work related thought drift illusorily across my mind as the children shriek in the background and liberate packets of biscuits and sharp knives from the kitchen, but vanish before the words reach my mouth. I imagine this is a little how it must feel to have a minor stroke; I know the information must be in my head somewhere, but I can neither access, nor express it. As I stammer the odd plausible word I can still muster, Lashes takes a purple felt tip and draws all over my left hand. As I notice and snatch it away he takes a sheet of paper (a work related one, obviously) and starts drawing something. Relieved, I try some word association with my long suffering colleague, saying whatever plausible nouns come into my head.
"Er, confidentiality, privilege, corollary, enforcement?"
Once more, Lashes appears in my line of sight, proudly waving his drawing this time.
Gradually my slow, struggling brain processes the scribbly purple mess in front of me.
It says "Maman mor, Aurélie vi" [sic] and depicts me - instantly recogniseable by my fearsome glasses, with a gaping hole in my torso. Purple blood is pulsing out of the hole. Nearby a smaller, grinning stick figure holds a dagger about four times his size. Over on the other side of the paper, Aurélie, our occasional babysitter (discussed here) , wholesome, hockey playing, blonde and beautiful Aurélie, is pictured smiling. He has even used a yellow pen for her hair. *
I put my hand over the receiver.
"That's horrible Lashes".
He smiles, angelically, all huge brown eyes and soft velvety skin, and disappears. The next time I spot him, he and his brother are trying to wrap the weepette in clingfilm. It looks like a particularly long-suffering piece of installation art.
Shortly thereafter I discover a moth larva at the bottom of my cup of tea.
*I don't know where it went or I'd take a photo. The weepette probably ate it.