“I hate the way it feels.” “The way what feels, Jamie?” Asked his mother, putting her book down. “The way my limbs feel just awkwardly laying about. I just can’t rest them. Do you ever get that feeling? When everything is just uncomfortable.” “I can’t say I do Jamie, I don’t often have time to think about anything I’m feeling, I’m so busy, as you know.” “Busy with what? All you ever do is watch over me and read.” The mother sighed. “Can we not just have a conversation?” “I know exactly where this will lead Jamie, and I will most certainly not speak of it again. Now you sit there, and be a good boy.” “Mother, I am twenty tomorrow, do you not see how patronising you sound?” “But you are just a boy, Jamie, nothing more. You do nothing, you do not work, you do not study, you sit there, complaining, and you call it conversation.” “I just want someone to talk to, mother, that’s all.” “Talk to me when you’re a man, Jamie, then I may listen.”
And so, Jamie took it upon himself to learn to be a man. He put himself to work, for money he certainly did not need and know how to spend. He gave half his wages to his mother, who refused to talk. Months passed, work grew grimmer and dimmer, the money kept coming in, yet he still didn’t know what to do with it. The pile grew and grew, the sparkle of gold certainly caught the eye of some young ladies. Eventually they would come knocking, coming to teach Jamie how to spend his money. Makeup, perfume, holidays and restaurants, they came and went, until the pile diminished and they lost interest. Until one lady came knocking even though there was no pile. Jamie, enthralled, moved out immediately, shadowing the great figure of the lady who took a chance on him. She managed him, rationed to him, washed him, pleasured him, until he became a man. He hates the way it feels. But his mother talks to him now.