I’m proper made-up here, like. Sat in a caf in Liverpool while eldest bairn’s at an audition for uni – sound! I’m sat here havin’ a bevvie and some scran and the odd ciggie outside. The thought of her in there’s wreckin’ me head laa!
That’s enough scousering.
I am made-up, but I am also a gigantic turd of a mother.
This day has been talked about, prepared for and planned for weeks. She’s worked as hard as a scouse docker in a donkey jacket at dawn to get to this point. All she asked of me is that I accompany her.
Me: Of course I will darling! And I can help too! After all, I was a drama student once and have been to many auditions – have I told you about the time I auditioned for-
Her: Manchester. Yes.
Me: That’s right. And I’d never been to such a big city before and-
Her: You were so nervous you forgot your monologue so you decided to do Hamlet instead.
Me: To be or not to be, that is the question…
Her: And then realised you didn’t know that monologue either.
Me: It’s a soliloquy actually, darling…
Her: Literally Mum, I cba [can’t be arsed] to listen to this story AGAIN. Seriously, fuck my life right now. All I need you to do is come with me on the train.
Me: Well of COURSE I’ll come with you sweetheart.
Her: It’s in the morning so you’ll need to get up early, ok?
Me: Excuse me, but I am A MOTHER. Getting up early is what we do…
Her: No I mean really early. Before 9am.
Me: What? Before 9? WHY? Why in God’s name-
Her: Mum. We need to leave at 6.30. Ok?
Me: [lips trembling, eyes flitting around anxiously] ok…ok, yes ok…
Her: And you’ll be up in time?
Me: I will. I absolutely will.
Cut to: Interior/bedroom. In darkness until the door slams open and light floods the room. Eldest stands fully-clothed in the doorway, rucksack on her back.
Her: MUM! MUM! FUCKS SAKE MUM I THOUGHT YOU WERE UP ITS 6.30!
Me: [scrabbling out of bed, boobs lolloping, heart racing] No no no no no no no no no no no no no-
Her: What the actual FUCK Mum?
Me: Why didn’t you WAKE ME?
Her: Because you TOLD me last night not to worry about waking you because I’d have enough to think about plus you’d be all the way upstairs in the spare room so you wouldn’t wake Dad plus you said you’re a GROWN-UP and that you have no trouble getting up at 5am when you’re going on the FUCKING TELLY but clearly your daughter’s future is of NO IMPORTANCE WHATSOEVER-
Me: [Fully clothed now]. I’m ready. Let’s go.
Cut to: Interior/train. I am plastering on make-up. Eldest is discussing my application technique and offering tips. We have coffee and pastries. We practice her monologue (whispered) and discuss her feelings about contemporary theatre practice and Shakespearean tragedy. She is a genius. We giggle ALOT. Especially at one point when she moves to point at the view and smashes her pen incredibly loudly into the window. This is not really funny, unless it’s 7am and you’re on a packed but quiet train full of commuters and you’re nervous and sitting opposite the one person in the world who can make you die laughing.
I’m crap at getting up early, but not crap at loving that girl.
Here she is on her way in:
I don’t know why I took that pic through the window. Perhaps because this is a moment I want to always remember.
She’ll be fine. I know she will be.
And if she’s not, I’ve made sure she’s word-perfect on ‘To be or not to be’…just in case…