Mother told me to ‘keep my virginity until the time was right to lose it’. That is, until ‘the right woman came along’.
‘When she comes along you will be sure to recognise her. She’ll have long blonde hair that’s as soft as lamb’s wool. Her eyes will be light blue, like the summer skies you sometimes get. I hope you’ll introduce yourself by saying, “Can I carry your shopping bags across the road?” She’ll look at you a bit suspiciously at first. That’s to be expected. But moments later she’ll catch a glint in your eyes and that glint will catch the same in her eyes too, I promise you. And then you’ll carry her shopping across the busy road to her small, well-polished red car. Just before she sets off both of you will look at each other with looks that verge on the loving. This is not enough to clinch it John. Of course it’s not. You’ll need to work hard. Show her what you’re made of. Women like men to lead to way. So it’s up to you to make the first move. But make sure you treat her with respect. Remember that she’s gentle, sweet and kind. And that she’ll be scared off by too strong a show of passion. In other words, John, control yourself. Don’t let the Devil have his way.’
All that night I lay in in bed tossing and turning and tossing. I tried, with all my might, to cast off the foul dirty thoughts that had been brought to life by mother’s little tale. Later, mother told me that ‘it was Satan tempting me again’. You see, the woman of my mother’s dreams appealed to my less commendable side. It was that fatal mix of blonde and blue that did it. This darker side of my soul had to be guarded against.
The source of my dark ‘was the Devil’. Mother and I were forever at war with the Devil. She told me that 'he’s always waiting around every corner'. And that it’s up to me 'to cast him off'. Mother had little time for the ‘morally weak’. They were ‘destined to fry in the fat of their own flesh and to drink from the urinals of hell’.
The way mother helped me to fight off the dreams of the flesh was to wrap my little demon up in Christmas wrapping paper just before I went to bed. She un-wrapped it in the morning. Mother never believed me when I told her that I un-wrapped it to go for a midnight pee pee. Later, she caught me in an uncompromising position with a copy of a Sunday newspaper and some toilet roll.
Every night mother went preaching with either Jim or Michael or Fred or Barry. Sometimes she didn’t arrive back until the early morning. By which time she looked bleary-eyed and dishevelled from all that hard work.
Before she arrived that night mother had phoned me to tell me all about ‘Satan’s sluts’. Her description of these women lasted all of thirty minutes. She was paying! It was an extremely detailed and precise portrait that concluded with a warning not to fall prey to the lustful charms of red lipstick and white stilettos. Mother had a fine eye for deviance. She found sickness, corruption and perversity deeply fascinating. The bad ways of other people gave her life both purpose and meaning. Soul-saving guaranteed her a place in Heaven.