Today, the sun has climbed aboard his golden chariot, the sky is the celestial blue of a Renaissance painting, birds are flibberty-gibbeting in trees so lush they deserve a more original adjective. A day, one might think, to be happy and carefree, to dispense with the woes of whatever there is to be woeful about. A day to rejoice that one’s heart still beats, pulse still pulses and blood still Grand Prix’s it through ones veins. Unless you happen to be Son No. 2, whose face is currently so long, he bears more than a passing resemblance to Desert Orchid. Pour quois? Simples! He didn’t listen to his Mum, didn’t heed the warning that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In this case, we are referring to an X-Box bought on Amazon, an amazing ‘knock-down’ bargain. What the vendor failed to specify is that the knock-down referred not to the price, but to the recipient, when they found no leads, battery pack or any of the associated paraphernalia one might expect to make it work was actually included. A salutary lesson learned the hard way. But, Son No. 2 is not the only one to have woken up and smelled the con-artist. I’ve learned a lesson too and that is not to bother dispensing any more pearls of wisdom. The fact is the only voice most people listen to is the voice of bitter experience. Their own experience! As a parent, of course, I felt it my bounden duty to try and instil the wisdom of Caveat Emptor in the fruit of my womb, if only to spare him the disappointment of X-Boxes sans accoutrements. But like said X-Box, it didn’t work. However, he will not make that mistake again. But, looking at the balance sheet, I suppose he’s gained more than he’s lost; in the debit column, £70.00 and scales lost from his eyes and, in the credit column, invaluable experience.
Well it’s finally happened. I’ve disappeared. Fallen beneath the radar. Technically, I’ve not yet flat lined, in so much as I still have a pulse. But in terms of sex appeal and visibility, I am body-bagged and on my way to the morgue. Bye bye, Louis Vuitton. Au revoir mon amie, Chanel. From now on it’s toe-labels all the way and a nice line in grey plastic, with a full length zipper.
I was warned it would happen, of course, by ‘women-of-a-certain-age’ sidling up with bitter faces and sepulchral voices. I didn’t notice them at first, which is exactly the point they were trying to make. They were ‘the disappeared’. No one noticed them anymore. Men, in particular, looked past, even men so pig ugly they’d be lucky to attract the attentions of a pig ugly lady pig. Why? Because they had committed the cardinal sin of reaching (be still my hyperventilating heart) the age of . . . no! I’m not going to tell you that.
‘Be gone, crones!’ I ordered, smug in the knowledge that, unlike those wrinkled old escapees from the wonderful world of moisturiser, I was forever beyond obscurity. I would always be seen, heard, lusted after and counted, which is why it came as something of a shock to find myself ignored in the supermarket the other evening as Chantelle gossiped with Tracey Anne, over on t’other till. Judging by the way Our Trace looked straight through me and my basket of shopping, I had become invisible. This suspicion grew legs when a bus sped merrily past me at the bus stop, though I stuck my hand out in the required fashion and performed an impromptu Saint Vitus dance for emphasis. Bemused, I trudged two miles home, unaware that a hole had developed in my plastic shopping bag and that I was leaking great globs of cottage cheese. Home, sweet home, where, at least, I was assured of a warm welcome. The front door opened upon my approach releasing a whirlwind that knocked me and my leaking shopping bag flat on my back. Seems, I had become invisible to my son too, who shot off with nary so much as a grunt of apology. Neither did things improve when a couple of God botherers showed up at the door. Ironically, I was actually pleased to see them, although the feeling was not mutual as they looked straight past to my husband, who has effortlessly retained his visibility, despite being a full ten years older than yours truly.
Ignored by the JWs. That’s got to be a first. Seriously upset, I downed a bottle of wine – yes, a full one, and took myself off to bed where I had my Road to Damascus experience. Strictly speaking, it was a Road to Oblivion experience. What I had failed to appreciate is that I am actually standing on the threshold of a whole new world. A world of infinite and exciting possibilities. A world of guilt-free shoplifting, a world of meddling in other people’s affairs, a world of committing the most heinous of crimes and getting away scot-free. For I am one of the newly ‘disappeared’ shrouded in a cloak of invisibility. And, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters?