The Goat Happiness Man

We lost my brother in a game of hide and seek one Christmas. It’s been four years now, we’ve looked everywhere.
My parents try not to show their disappointment in me, but whenever we play hide and seek now they always give me a look when they find me, as if to say, ‘you’ve really let the family down’.
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‘You tell too many lies’ my mum said, when she was hassling me about some homework which may or may not have happened.
“I never lie,” I said, finger’s crossed behind my back, “name one time I’ve lied to you, my loving, cherished mother.”
“You keep telling people you lost your brother in a game of hide and seek.”
“You laughed at that.”
“The first time. Only the first time.”
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There was a piece in the local paper about the public toilets shutting down because of government cuts.
“In my day,” said dad, “the council had a string quartet in the toilet to accompany you every time you used the public loo. That’s why it’s called chamber music. This was before the cuts, now you don’t even have public toilets now, you have to piss in alleyways and shop windows. You’re lucky if someone comes up to you and plays the flute while you’re having a slash in the alley.”
“Don’t encourage him,” my mum said.
“Don’t encourage him,” is my mum’s mantra. She tries to discourage me constantly.
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I bet you’re assuming I don’t have a girlfriend. Just because I haven’t mentioned her yet and I’m on page two. Well you’re wrong, I do have a girl. And she’s really hot. And, yes, I do know I shouldn’t start a sentence with the word ‘and’. I’m just a rebel, not tied down by rules of grammar, or granddad.
Melinda Richards is her name. I say girlfriend, she gave me a hand-job in Beverley Sisters’ parents’ bed when we crashed out at Beverley’s party.
Her real name’s Beverley Sevster, we call her Beverley sisters because she hasn’t got any sisters, it’s some kind of joke.
In the morning, when we were discovered in bed together by Beverley, Melinda pretended that nothing had happened, that we’d just passed out drunk. Any soiled tissues were purely my own doing.
I suppose in the conventional sense she isn’t my girlfriend at all. Especially now she’s avoiding me. But who needs conventions?
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My brother says sex isn’t a big deal anyway. He’s two years older than me and says that after the first few times the thrill wears off. He’d rather play a really good, long game of hide and seek instead.
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Alex James from Blur says that his 20s and 30s were his party years, when he did all his drugs and rock and roll. His 40s are his cheese years. He’s bought a farm and has dedicated his life to making cheese. He’s made over 30 varieties already.
I’m gonna get my cheese decade in early, enjoy it while I’m young. I’ll do the drugs and rock ‘n’ roll when I’m 40.
When I leave home, I’m going to find a farm, buy hundreds of goats and start making cheese. It’s my dream life, pure goat happiness. I’ll ask Melinda to help. She can do the cheese making part.
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I’m supposed to be keeping a diary. “You’ll look back and remember all sorts of things you’d forgotten,” my mum said. Mum didn’t keep a diary, so I don’t know how she knows she’d have written down all the things she’s now forgotten. She might have written down things she remembers anyway. It’s pure speculation.
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I go to an elite school, for geniuses. Tommy is working on a rocket ship, Meg is going to cure cancer and Darren is going to be Prime Minister, “but not one like Gordon Brown or Tony Blair or David Cameron.” I guess this means he’ll be dressing up in drag like Maggie Thatcher. What I don’t understand is how the whole country failed to notice they had a tranny as PM for so long.
Myself, I don’t have one area of genius, I just excel at everything.
My brother, the one who doesn’t exist, says it’s not an elite school, it’s a special school, for children with problems.
“I don’t have a problem,” I said.
“You have an imaginary brother,” he said. “That’s just weird.”

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