Martha-The Rewrite Chapter Fifty Eight
“Mum, that’s not in London! How the fuck do I get there, it’s fucking miles away?”
“It is in London Marth, it’s got a London postcode and everything.”
“Mum, Chingford is not properly in London, it’s Essex, everywhere has a London postcode nowadays.” We’re bickering on Skype, it’s the modern way. I am not big on travelling at the best of times. The thought of getting to fucking Chingford has already sent me into the anxiety stratosphere. Train into London, tube, another train up to Chingford. It’ll take all day too. I can’t ask Gemma to come all that way, I’m sure she’s got better things to do on her day off. Typical of my dad to use a solicitor that is entirely inaccessible, selfish prick. I laugh at myself cursing the dead over their domestic arrangements. It is pretty amazing what the human mind can get upset about. My one manages to invent such powerful bullshit stories about such trivial things. Still, fucking Chingford.
“Marth, it’s just one day in your life, we sign the papers and then we get a villa, it’s not so bad. No, it’s not a bloody bungalow Marth. Well, no, it doesn’t have an upstairs but that doesn’t make it a bungalow. Yes, I do know what a bungalow is you cheeky mare. Anyway, it’s got a nice bit of land with it, grape vines it says, we could make our own wine, eh? There’s a brick barbecue too, not like that rubbish from B&Q, proper built one.You don’t seem very excited Marth? I thought you’d be over the moon, it’ll be the first time either of us have owned a house, ain’t that exciting? No, I’m not sad that he died, why the bloody hell should I be? He left me alone with a young kid, never sent me a penny from his grotty little caravan with that horrible slag. Even when he came into some money he kept bloody quiet about that didn't he? I knew his dad died cos I got a card from the family saying so. He knew we struggled, he knew where we were. Fuck him Marth. I know he was your dad by rights but he was no father to you. In my mind, he died years ago, I’d forgotten him. The very least he could do is leave us something when he went. It might mean nothing to you but this is all he ever gave me. Yes, I know he gave me you, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m sorry Marth. Don’t cry, you’ll start me off.”
Mum convinced me to got to fucking Chingford. It means a lot to her, getting her hands on that rotting bungalow, her payback for the abandonment. I respect her anger at him. He was a cunt to run off like he did. The pathetic attempts at contact, the meetings in shitty service stations, the witch waiting in the van, he made it so easy to forget him. Of course, mum will never for a moment wonder why he did leave though, that her utter misery drowned us. It doesn’t matter now I suppose. Life is just what is happening right now. The drugs have worked for her and now she wants to enjoy the rest of her days, I get it. She says we should all go out there and see it once the legal stuff is done. I think she wants to stay in it but knowing what I remember of dad and given that it’s been empty for at least 6 months, I very much doubt it’s habitable anytime soon. Perhaps we can stay nearby, check out the area, have a nose around. I’ve never been to Costa Blanca. The goth in me thinks that it already sounds way too bright though. Mum’s right though, I am not excited. If she was going to sell it and split the money, that might be different. I don’t know what it’s worth. I know Spain is cheap and sunny and that’s why us lot all move there. I’ve heard people talk about the equity in their houses like it’s real. It isn’t, it’s pretend money, like fucking Monopoly. There’s enough to worry about in life without getting stressed about something that doesn’t really exist. I’m not good at imagining the future either, at least not in a positive way. Disaster scenarios are my thing. I can spin you up your own personal dystopia in the blink of an eye. Imagining everything being great and me grinning away in the middle of it all? Don’t be fucking silly.