Conversations with Wonka - Part fiveMadeleine Masterson / Humor
Conversations with Wonka - Part five--
Copyright 2015 Madeleine Masterson
What had changed? I ruminated on this whilst I waited for aged sibling to complete the twenty minute teeth brushing ritual that had to precede every visit to the Dentist. Not our Dentist, not since I left him in a sulk.
‘You haven’t..’ went Wonka when I strode in and chucked the cartload of shopping down in the hall to crash down the switch on the space rocket that doubled as a kettle. It started its journey through space and I threw a healthy tea bag in the mug.
I have!’ I said proudly ‘I’ve ditched him!’
I mean in hindsight I had done the usual. Gone funny because the world wasn’t operating at my speed. Railed at the injustice of it all, whittled down to a cancelled appointment. Yes it had been this that sent me over the edge.
‘It’s not good enough’ I spoke loudly to the two stony faced receptionists who were half listening to my complaint. And again, like some precise instrument at work, I arrived at the painted in corner of my life. ‘So you can take me AND my brother off your books!’ I carried on, still to a fairly uninterested audience albeit growing now as some real patients were coming in and they, yes they were listening.
‘He’s not here.’ One of the girls stood between me and the torture chamber of the said dentist room. ‘I’ll keep you on the system just in case’ she said as I flung on out of the practice.
At home, a tad calmer and ignoring Wonka’s further question of who was going to put up with me and my teeth now, I took stock. The kitchen was the arena for this, with ready food and drink available and no phones or computers in sight. A new year ahead, and the dream holiday achieved, I just needed a few little adjustments and surely I would reach that plateau of being alright?
‘That cat’s been out there all day, just by the gate’ said Wonka from his sideboard perch, and yes, there he was indeed. Was my life just a long hurtle punctured here and there by stray cats and the like? I called the new one Bertie and after a conversation with Wonka about him being on his own and how could this be a good thing. ‘You’re on your own and you like it!!‘ He countered back, but I had my argument ready.
‘If, a decent soul was out there sitting by the gate, I would consider letting him in.’ As I said it, a shiver went through me. Sharing? Me?
With this frightening thought going round my head, I took a fresh bowl of food out back and left it by the wooden step ladders. Used occasionally by me inside to reach things not accessible by chair or gripping the handle on the top window, mostly they lived outside and were sat on by every single cat I had ever had starting with Golly.
‘I’m not keen,’ continued Wonka and rushed upstairs to see better from my bedroom window.
‘We’ll see,’ I shouted up but I already knew and really, so did he.
The agency work was still ongoing, and I had now taken up post as a mid-morning supervisor. ‘Meaning?’ went Wonka when I announced my new hours, 11 30 til 1pm, five days a week. I mean I could have a whole life going on in between times. Once I had explained to Wonka what it did mean, he looked at me strangely.
‘Dinner lady? You?’
I know it seemed like a step down on my little career step ladder, and really I should be going up, but heh! I might even take to it. Surely, I argued with myself, the benefits of all that time, coupled with a stress free job. This was why people swapped high flying jobs like finance in the city, for shelf stacking.
‘Well?’ said Wonka, on my return from said dinner watch at a local primary School.
‘They’re all wrong.’ I pronounced. The snob in me did not like being referred to as a ‘dinner lady’, although it was more of how I was treated that the title. ‘I’m wiping tables and sweeping up Wonka,’ I told him and rushed upstairs before he could say he warned me.