Youth, wasted on the young...
This is what I recited at Mc Manus Open Mic last night. It is a part of my book I don´t know anybody in Norrkoping. The book is a mix of a collection of short stories and a novel, where six persons tell what they did the same Friday night.
Porn dilemma #14 which I recited last Open mic was the beginning of Mickey Trix´ story. This is the beginning of Tom´s story, where he thinks back at his youth when he has lunch with his mother.
Oh sweet youth I miss you… A time without responsibilities or ambitions, more than to have as much fun as possible, and always always always be there, to never miss anything, always inside or outside or in the grove a little bit behind Ekholmen centrum… days when you skipped school, evenings when you waited to get thrown out by the guards, and the nights outside when you did anything to avoid being the first one to go home, be the one who missed something…I’ll stay one more hour, half an hour, just 15 more minutes outside Ekholmen centrum, then I will go home and sleep and wake up in time for school tomorrow… and is there anybody who has a tenner? the shop closes soon and I really need a tenpack of Marlboro …and then in the weekend maybe a twentypack of marlboro and one or two sixpacks (the weekend after your parents payday) – somebody’s sister’s boyfriend can buy the beer… to drink behind the school or in the grove or anywhere near Ekholmen centrum…less money (weekend before payday)… share a small Marlboro and then some glue or gasoline, to sniff behind the dentist or in some basement… hearing hallucinations that became sight hallucinations and that stench in your nose that just wouldn’t disappear… next weekend we have to get some money so we can buy beer instead of this sniffing…and always this hunt for money…make false lottery tickets, pretty easy just need some old tickets, a scissor and some glue (50 kronor, ten cheap beers)…steal a bike, paint it and sell it (hundreds, beer for several nights if you didn’t buy weed for all the money and got all your friends stoned)… or just smash the window of the shop and steal beer or cigarettes or whatever… and all those other break-ins that didn’t give any money but you did just to get some excitement on those boring and cold winter nights…. candy and coke from the youth centre… ice cream from the kindergarden, a wheelchair from the school, whatever you could steal.. and questions from the social workers and the police and always deny… I don’t know anything about that, I wasn’t there that evening, never heard of that guy you are talking about, actually I just found this bike and I’m on my way to the police station to leave it at lost and found… and never in love but always horny…come with me for a while so we can talk and then two fingers inside her and kiss her young tits… and no no no, not if you’re not my boyfriend and not if you don’t have a condom and then sometimes yes anyway… and couldn’t look her in the eyes the next day but it happens one more time the Friday after… and maybe in love but didn’t care because the lads have always something fun going on… and her friend is pretty hot as well… stupid to eat too much meat balls when you have a smorgasbord in front of you… it feels like it was 100 years ago, it feels like it was yesterday…
Twenty years after my glory days I am in my mother’s kitchen, and I have to admit life is not that exciting anymore. When I was a teenager something fun happened, if not every night at least every weekend. And on top of that I slept with different girls every week. If I can tell you myself, I have to say I was the neighbourhood Casanova. And that lasted for ten years. But when I was in my late twenties something radically changed, it was like I had already tried with all the girls in Linkoping who were easy enough to take home a hammered stranger on a Saturday evening. I’ve always been god at talking a girl into bed, but in later years it’s getting harder and harder. Now I haven’t slept with anyone for half a year, and I haven’t experienced a dry period like that since I lost my virginity.
Even if I am a happy single bachelor I have a lot of responsibilities that I didn’t have when I was fifteen. I have to be at work 7 o clock every morning, a job that I got tired of ten years ago, and trying not to have a bad hangover. When I was in school I just didn’t go there if I didn’t want to. But now I have no choice, I have bills to pay.
But every Sunday I think about quitting.
Some day maybe I will do it. Because I’m only responsible for myself, I could survive on the dole for a while. And that makes me freer than the majority of the people in this country. All those people with children – and a mortgage, a car, a widescreen tv and a mobile phone for every kid, to pay – those people can’t quit. Doesn’t matter how much they hate their jobs, their bosses, their lives. They are chained to their machines and their tools and sentenced to work two-shifts, three-shifts and night shifts the rest of their life.
Sweden has become a nation of debt slaves.
Friday I only work til lunch, so I go to my mother’s and eat after work.
I like my mother more than anybody else in this world. She has always been there for me, and she will never let me down. If I came to her and said that I was wanted for murder, I am sure that she would hide me from the police without asking questions.
But she can be so annoying sometimes. I’m only here to eat, and then I’m going to the pub as quick as possible. Now my mother talks about Emma who I was going out with over five years ago. She says she is sorry it is over and that I should try to meet a new girl.
I was really hammered last night. I have no idea how I got home from the pub. The hangover and the anxiety is not getting easier with my mother´s talk. So I say I have to go to the toilet.
In there I swallow two valium with some water.
When I am back at the kitchen table my mother is still on the same subject.
“Soon you are 35, Tom. Wouldn’t it be nice to meet a girl and then maybe have a family.
Don’t you think it’s time for that now?”
A question like that could make me panic and snap at my mother, and that always make me feel bad. She just wants what is best for me. The pills haven’t kicked in, but the comforting knowledge that they soon will lay like a warm blanket on my nerves makes me remain calm.
“It’s not really up to me, mum. It’s not like I can go to IKEA and chose a chic and some kids in good sizes.”
“But you used to always have a lot of girlfriends. The girls used to love you when you were younger.”
My mother sighs like she had the heavy responsibility to feed every starving child in Africa.
“You drink too much. That´s why all your girlfriends leave you.”
I think it´s strange that she can say that to me, but in 35 years she never confronted my father. From what I can remember, he was drunk every evening when I was a kid, and wasted out of his mind all weekend.
The Old Man is a strange drunk. Drinking is a social thing for me, I like going to the pub and meeting people. Talk, have fun, let loose. I chat and laugh a lot when I’m drunk, flirting with every girl. Before I get too wasted.
My father on the other hand, he becomes more silent than he already is when he drinks. I remember him sitting on the couch when I was a kid, totally silent with a can in his hand. Not a single word did he say, just stared into the telly while he smoked his red commerce without filter. And then he fell asleep.
When I was a teenager and came home late at the weekends, it was many times I found him unconscious on the floor. Had to wake up my mother and together we dragged him in to bed.
My mother never said a word about it, but she´s complaining about my drinking.
My mother is perfectly right and I know it. I´ve been drinking too much since I was 15 years old. But she is wrong that my girlfriends broke up without me because of that reason.
Yeah, all my girls complained about my drinking, but it´s me who ended every relationship.
I really can´t handle being a boyfriend, and even less I could stand being a father. Don´t get me wrong, I really like kids. I always play with my friend’s children when I see them, and they seem to like me.
But they are not my responsibility, when I get tired of them I can just go home.
The fact is that every time I´ve been in a long term relationship, I´ve felt that I made my girlfriend sad and disappointed all the time. Because I get too drunk in the wrong situation, because I´m on a bender for days and don´t even call her, and I am sorry to tell you, but sometimes because I cheated on her.
Some guys I know seem to think they gonna change the day they have kids, that they are gonna be more responsible. I think that is just wishful thinking.
It´s been painful enough to know that I hurt my girlfriends, but I just couldn´t stand to have a child that can´t trust me and I let down over and over again. If my son or daughter looked at me and in her eyes I would see the same contempt I feel when I look at my own father, that would be like somebody stabbed a rusty old knife into my heart.
Of course I don´t tell my mother that. It would totally break her.