Let me explain.
When you grow up you think that you’re the centre of your parents world. They feed you, they wash you (in the early years, not the teenage years, that would be weird) and they drive you. They do everything for you and if they weren’t recreating the complete cast of downstairs at Downton Abbey they just weren’t doing their job right.
Then, one day, you go to University. And you imagine they must be devastated. They’d sit alone and weep while you’re gone, waiting impatiently for term to finish and the light of their lives (you) to come home. That’s the way the world is meant to work. They were meant to be build a shrine to you. You were meant to be deified. Until you realise that your parents have other plans…
The first time I came home from university I saw my bed in a skip outside the house. Which was not an accident. They’d had to dismantle it and bring it out the front door in pieces. My clothes were beside my bed, in black bags waiting to be collected by the rubbish truck. My comics burned on a garden bonfire. My Transformers transformed into ash and smoke and memory.
Inside, instead of building a shrine, they’d painted my bedroom walls and replaced all the furniture. Nothing of me remained. It was like I’d never existed. Not the 18 years I’d slept there nor an acknowledgement that this used to be mine. Instead, in my bedroom’s place, there was a brand spanking new fully operational sex dungeon.
“We always wanted a dungeon” said my Dad. “Your mother and I had to make do with an inflatable crotch stock and cock stand. Which was a bugger to inflate let me tell you when you’ve got kids in the house.”
“But this was my room!” I said. “You’ve not even touched my brothers!”
“Your mum’s not going any younger” said my Dad “and you can’t expect to get up the stairs to your brothers room – at least not in 12 inch heels and a gimp mask.”
“But where am I going to sleep?”
“Don’t worry, son, John Lewis has a 3 in 1 sofa bed, couch and spanking horse. You just pull that chain and the bed pops right out”
Then I saw it. A floral bed, hidden in the corder beside the travelling cross and spider chair.
“I can’t sleep there!”
“It’s only for three weeks” said my Dad, perhaps not unreasonably, “you can’t expect to stand still just because you come home for a few weeks every four months”
“I’m NOT sleeping there” I said.
“It’s got black rubber sheets!”
“Trust me, son” said my Dad, putting a consoling arm around my shoulder, “When your mum gets going you don’t want to leave anything in this room that’s not completely waterproof.”