I woke up late this morning, after a warm and uncomfortable night. I was in the middle of a rather ‘feverish’ dream as my eyes opened, a dream in which I had remembered something long forgotten.
It is strange how the mind works.
Regular readers will know that I was an only child. I was the only one in my extended family that had no brothers or sisters, and all of my friends had at least one sibling, sometimes many.
During my youth, I fluctuated between being grateful that being an only child was a bonus, and wishing I had a brother or sister to play with and to keep me company. So when I was nine years old, I tried to do something about that.
By then, I already knew how babies were made, and where they came from. We all spent enough time with older boys and girls to have been told the basic facts of life. When I was eight, I asked my mum why she never had more children, so I could have had a brother or sister. She told me the truth, straight out.
“Well your dad didn’t really want children, so after you were born, he said ‘one is enough’. My mum was always honest with me.
Almost a year later, an older boy on the estate where we lived was showing off a packet of condoms. We called them ‘Rubber Johnnies’ back then. He was boasting about sex that he probably hadn’t had, and said something that stuck in my mind. “You have to check them for little tears or holes, otherwise the girl can get pregnant”,
One day after school, before my parents got in from work, I made a quick search of their bedroom. I found a large box of Durex brand condoms in a bedside table drawer. Inspecting inside, I took out the first three condoms still in their wrappers, and pierced each one a few times very carefully with a pin from my mum’s sewing basket.
Convinced I would soon be having a brother or sister, I replaced them exactly as I had found them, then waited.
I am still waiting. My plan failed, and I remained an only child.