My Brother’s Dominatrix

Prologue

‘Philip was our little brother…’ I glance at his portrait propped on the easel beside the coffin, while the horseshoe of family and work colleagues wait expectantly. I must stay focused.

‘When he was seven…’ I recount a funny story of Phil’s escapades. I tell them of his fascination for volcanos, his obsession of Star Trek. When I get to the part about me and my sister dressing him up in a tutu, they laugh. I want to howl. Perhaps it was our fault?

Phil always insisted he wanted a humanist funeral – it’s called a civil ceremony now. Funny, I thought that was just weddings. He’d joked he wanted ‘Highway to Hell’ played at his funeral, but my sister Penny vetoed it. She’s a Christian, she’s allowed one veto.

‘Phil was well regarded at work.’ His work colleagues nod encouragingly. An older lady dabs her eye with a tissue. ‘He was kind, patient, always at the end of a phone…’

I could tell them the truth. I could stand here right now and tell them his dirty little secret. But I don’t. Instead I signal my son and Pink Floyd’s Breathe floats through the speakers while images of Van Gogh’s paintings fill the screen.

This is supposed to be a time for reflection. My eyes travel across the heads of people and I find myself counting, thirty-seven, thirty-eight. Fifty percent family, while work colleagues cluster together in solidarity. Are they Phil’s friends? Lurking at the back are others I can’t identify.

Afterwards I invite people to stay for a cuppa and a chat. People hover waiting to speak to me. They gush with condolences, clasping my hand, engaging me with earnest eyes as they tell me how wonderful Phil was. ‘His knowledge was second to none. If ever there was a problem I’d say, “well, I don’t know, but I know a man who does.” ’ The woman’s mouth opens wide as she laughs. There’s lipstick on her teeth.

I smile back. I scan the room locating my daughter. She’s offering around plates of biscuits. I want to check the time but my watch has slipped around my wrist. Why don’t they just go? I have so much to do. An appointment at the bank to try and ascertain what assets, if any, Phil has – more than likely it will be debts. And after that I’m meeting with my brother’s dominatrix.

Glossary of terms acquainted with during executorship

Civil celebrant – master of ceremony at a humanist funeral (when she says, ‘I really want to get to know your brother,’ tell her a pack of lies)

Dominatrix – takes the sadistic role in sadomasochistic sexual activities (and sole beneficiary of brother’s residue estate)

Hypertensive heart disease – high blood pressure – might explain blood pressure armband found in wardrobe

Insolvency – when the estate is insolvent (to be applied for before or instead of probate)

Nitrous – something that can make you high. Glue sniffing has obviously moved on.

Poppers – dilate your blood vessels and cause your anus to relax (the things you can find out on google…)

Probate – what I have to apply for as executor of the will

Pulmonary thromboembolism – heart attack

Submissive – compliant, yielding, spineless, deceitful…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s