You know that feeling you get when you finally work out what the phrase you’re adopted actually means we’ve all been there, haven’t we? and it feels like you’ve spent your whole life wearing your jumper back-to-front only nobody thought to mention it to you because this world needs its eccentrics and besides it makes you look quite cute and funny in a ridiculous sort of way even if you don’t quite seem to get the joke and it’s the nature of rhetorical questions that they don’t get an answer so let’s move on shall we now?
And afterwards every time you put your jumper on it’s back-to-flipping front but there’s nothing you can do about it and even when you do try and turn it round to wear it properly it’s still back-to-front and there’s apparently nothing you can do about that either and it feels like one of those weird hallucinatory dreams which your mother refers to as do you remember being delirious last night? when you climb on top of the loo to escape from the dragon no an actual dragon don’t be facetious and you’re asleep but awake at the same time and you look down from the summit of Mount Lavatory don’t say toilet and notice with despair that your pyjamas are back-to-front as well and that trying to escape is impossible because you can’t dig a tunnel to freedom when you’re floating in outer-space and your space-suit doesn’t fit or is it because it’s back-to-front?
It’s okay isn’t it? when you’re a little boy because you can be all aaah and cute and isn’t he just the sweetest thing? apart from the odd occasion which is more frequent than you’d ever admit such as when you hurl your prized Roberts radio against the wall in a fit of rage and it shatters into a million pieces which fly around the room like a 747 aeroplane piloted by an IRA bomb which you pick up and hide in the bin because no-one would ever think to look there would they? with the giant battery still hanging limply from its attachment like your broken heart or the odd occasion when you’re round at the house of family friends for Sunday lunch and you’re called in but what with you being even further away than the faeries their annoyed mother has to come out to call you in a second time and tells you out of nowhere how lucky you are to have been adopted and you look down at your feet for where else is there to look? and you notice that your shoes are on the wrong way round Blimey you think maybe that explains why I’m so clumsy and you go in for lunch and everyone’s already sitting down and as they look at you when you come in you feel a stab of empathy for the roast chicken and wonder if roast chickens are lucky as well while at the same time the soundless voice which sometimes bounces around the inside of your skull starts intimating that they’ve all been talking about how lucky you are and you try and take the wrong-way-round shoes off but they seem to be stuck and you wonder if you might be able to remove them with the orange-handled electric carving knife which is being cheerfully wielded by their father which makes him look even more terrifying than usual.