Conversations with wonka.., p.1
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       Conversations with Wonka - Part Three, p.1

           Madeleine Masterson
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Conversations with Wonka - Part Three

  Conversations with Wonka - Part three---

  Copyright 2014 Madeleine Masterson

  We had juddered into the New Year and I was trying out my new change of direction life and attitude. ‘I’m not stressed!’ I shouted as my patience gave out within two seconds of parking up. The drivers coming towards me and my vicious parking attempts couldn’t hear me, and the drivers practically carving me up from behind, well they couldn’t see me.

  Wonka unconcerned and peering out of the front bay at the seagulls on the roofs opposite, checked for food shopping. I stumbled across the race track that doubled as a street with parking on one side, lugging cat litter and boxes of cat food. Had I bought something for my tea? Chucking the bent key in the lock, bent by the machine that gobbled coupons in the self-service section of the cavernous supermarket – I had tried to poke a coupon down the hole with my front door key and it immediately bent the key whilst the coupon stayed solid and would not budge. I had to get several assistants on to it before we heard the mechanical and annoying announcement ‘coupon accepted’. Happily, the bent key still worked in the lock.

  I gained entrance to my home and hallway, and slammed the front door on the world and its wants.

  Baba and Wonka wanted from the inside though.

  We’re starving!’ shouted Wonka, laying down at my feet and showing off a massive tummy. Was I guilty of over feeding him I pondered en route to the kitchen. Surely not. The overflowing saucers were witness to that, and a bit of choice wouldn’t harm. Just because I had about four different sachets lined up and opened, wasn’t an indicator of overfeeding. My thoughts swerved down the old road of what things really mean, which thanks to a short and ghastly bout of counselling, from both sides, were lit up like neon. That’s it! I shouted to no one there, rather like that Neil Diamond classic, I am simply caving in to guilt and past wrongdoings. I shook more biscuits into Wonka’s trough as I thought it. Had I still been smoking my head off, I would have lit up another fag whilst resolving to stop.

  Would life take the turn I was busy visioning, and become a simple satisfying affair?

  Thanks to Wonka’s persistence, the Life Coaching had taken root. Like it or not, I had completed the course and some of it must have rubbed off. Standing in front of the stationery in the warehouse come Greek maze harbouring a monster come supermarket, I had finally selected a pink clear A4 binder in which my very own Life Plan would nestle. Life plans. Business Plans, I was on fire and in danger of achieving something.

  Alongside my own life though I now seemed to be living other lives. That of aged sibling and parent. Three sets of To Dos fluttered round my brain and if I appeared selfish at times, shouting (yes shouting) things like ‘what about me!’ and ‘I’m trying to have a life!’ The latter I had settled on as a conversation stopper for all authorities. The slightest hint of pressure and this selfish statement would burst out of me. Wonka had noted it and warned me to ‘chill out’. It’s not as if you’ve got a whole great brood of family members all depending on you, he would say, whilst demanding more food, or biscuits, or just attention really.

  He was right. I didn’t have layers upon layers of family, or an extended one, just a small circle of highly demanding people related by blood. The intensity of it had to be balanced out. And not just by adopting Baba who was fast becoming the most needy cat I’d ever had. Wonka in comparison was self-sufficient. Nearly.

  I had reached a stage in my sort of breakdown thing, where the crying was practically on a par with normal everyday weeping. I could now hold off with the sobbing for hours on end. Surely it could now accommodate a working day with real employers in it? Had it been a breakdown service, I could have settled it up like a monthly direct debit, yes spreading it over a twelve month period. Well now, yes now I felt like cancelling.

  New box set? Queried Wonka, not convinced that I was quite ready to take on the nitty gritty of a real job. We had come to the end of the last violent series in our favourite box set of all time. Like stopping smoking, there was no way forward and no way back, I was frozen at the end of the last episode and felt desperate.

  February had that effect though. With the heating turned full on, I seized a small positive moment in the day, and emailed an agency.

  Baba’s sneezing interrupted this magic moment, but too late I had pressed send. My new CV, the one that put me over as employee of the month, was whizzing across the phone lines or however it worked, and goodness me, I might even get noticed. I needed to be noticed.’

  My new air brushed image was waiting for offers. The hairdresser, who so far in had stuck by me, laughed at my jokes before I made them, had managed, possibly by fear of the consequences to get my hair exactly as I wanted it. This alone was helping me get through each day. Yes we were in deep trouble with the bank, the utilities, the car and its endless menders, but stop a little minute, which I did, and admire the hair!

  The GP? I had of course wandered up to see him and double check my state of mind. He was full of positive energy and during our allotted five minutes, so was I. There was nothing I wasn’t going to do. Start my own business (where did that come from?) get an immediate start with the agency (I had heard nothing from them at all) and in case I felt awful, I would go back to the counsellor (a friend in need of much the same) in fact given another five minutes I would have life coached the GP into another profession. Given this performance which I likened to one of the better acts put on by a hopeless drug addict convincing his support worker he or she is on the mend, I fairly skipped out of the surgery and back into the real world.

  ‘Please don’t tread on me!’ shrieked Wonka from his splayed out position on the floor. I got over him and then had to do a double hop to miss Baba ever stationery, ever bleating loudly. And sneezing. I was in danger of a shouting session and took some deep breaths to stave it off. What would the neighbours think?

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