I'm lying in bed without a nightie on. How's that? Easy, I've got a big Johnnie wrapped all around me to keep me warm.
I'm telling you women, what every woman needs is a Johnnie. If you've got a Johnnie in your life you can do anything.
Florence had warned me, a heavy Olive attack. At the railway station I bought a Chinese take-away and two cans of Mexican beer. I took a taxi home. Where was granny? Folded up as a ball in the wardrobe. I unfolded her, carried her to the kitchen and sat her on my lap at the table.
I unwrapped two wooden chop sticks and fed granny and me direct from the tin foil containers. I took big gulps of beer for granny to drink.
I carried granny to bed, wrapped myself round her and clicked out the light.
The cruise was everything I wanted and Johnnie. We visited all those interesting places. We ate all that interesting food. We relaxed. We.
I persuaded Johnnie to buy some nice clothes for the trip; Florence, my granddaughter, helped me with the shopping. We did look good.
On the first day everyone looked at that nice young man with his grandmother, on the third day everyone stared at those two people.
One old guy, perhaps he was a vicar, tried to give Johnnie a fatherly talk. Johnnie told him to go for a swim behind the ship.
It was our honeymoon. No, we were not married and we are not going to get married. We are together, we are happy.
Typical man, just wants the woman for sex and nothing else. That's it, just take the sex and give nothing in return, no responsibilities, none at all.
It's true, we don't want to get married, do I want Olive as my stepdaughter? No plans for marriage, children or anything like that.
I've moved in with granny. I don't spend money on rent for an apartment, I spend it all on granny.
I know, I know, Johnnie's name is William; his friends call him Bill. But Johnnie remains Johnnie.
What is holding you back? What is wrong? Has Olive been here again? Your beloved daughter?
This is a big white box, it hums to itself, it is ugly; but you can open it day or night and snack. What about a cheese sandwich and a glass of cold milk? Sausage rolls with tomato ketchup? A glass of white wine? Spanish ham with mustard? Ice cream? Fruit juice?
I am that refrigerator, granny. You open the door, but you stand back. What is holding you back? Take what you want from me, make yourself happy, take what you want from me.
I want to scream. I'm sitting between two very nice young men. Larry had warned us what could happen; Larry has warned me about emotions. That's why Johnnie is holding my hand very tight, so that I don't scream.
I want to scream, she is lying, I want to scream.
The judge speaks, “Thank you, Mrs Thornton. I have some questions for you, Mrs Thimblethwaite. Mrs Olive Thornton, your daughter, has applied to this court to become your legal guardian. She believes that you are not able to look after yourself. Do you understand this, Mrs Thimblethwaite?”
“Yes, it is painfully clear to me.”
“Mrs Thornton also wants to place a ban on a Mr William Birdsall being within 200 metres of you. Mr Birdsall is apparently bad for your well-being. Do you understand this, Mrs Thimblethwaite?”
“Yes, my daughter doesn't like Johnnie.” Larry grabs my other hand.
“Mrs Thimblethwaite, you have heard the doctor's report that Mrs Thornton has read out to the court and submitted as evidence. Would you like to comment on that report?”
“Oh, yes!” It was my chance. “The report describes an elderly woman, who is unable to cope with life, who cannot speak in whole sentences and belongs in a bed with a steel frame on top to protect her. However this woman is not me. How can it be?”
“I believe that Dr Stockhouse is my daughter's doctor in this town, but he is not a specialist for mental health. He has never examined me. I HAVE NEVER MET HIM!”
Larry speaks “I have a question for Mrs Thornton. Mrs Thornton, has Dr Stockhouse examined Mrs Thimblethwaite?”
“No, but it is obvious that my mother needs help.”
“Mrs Thornton, one more question. Do you have any other evidence?”
“Yes, of course. Everyone knows that elderly women, especially grandmothers, are not allowed to have relationships with young men, everybody knows that, it's not allowed...”
“Thank you, Mrs Thornton. No further questions.”
The judge is making notes. “Mrs Thornton, you have presented to the court a doctor's report which is based on hearsay and not fact. You have also declared your opinion on relationships between older and younger people. Neither of these is acceptable in a court of law. The case is dismissed.”
Olive roared “This is impossible. I will appeal the case. This is terrible...”
“Mrs Thornton, it is your right to appeal. I suggest that you go to a good lawyer and pay him thousands of dollars and let him tell you what I'm telling you now.”
“Your mother is not incapable. There are no laws in this land against relationships between consenting adults, whatever their ages. Leave them in peace.”
It's our idea of a quiet evening, Johnnie is lying on his back listening to his music on phones and I can watch my soaps on TV or eat a sandwich or drink a beer or lower my head and kiss Johnnie.
“I want to show you something, granny. Grab a few things for a couple of days and throw them in a suitcase.”
I drove and drove and drove. “Oh, Johnnie, I did not know that my little motor car could go so fast.”
We stood on the high granite cliff and watched the waves far below crash against the rocks.
After a while “Johnnie, I didn't know you were so romantic.”
“Let's go for a drink at the hotel.”
I'm an awful old woman, I prey on young boys, I'm a cradle-snatcher, I'm a cougar, a sugar mama, I just want one thing from him.
I asked Johnnie if he wanted an awful old woman, a cradle-snatching nymphomaniac. He said “Yes please!”
There was a bundle of clothes on the doorstep, it was Olive. She was unconscious, but still breathing and very cold. There was ice on the ground.
I picked her up and carried her indoors. I sat down and wrapped myself around her, cheek to cheek, to warm her up.
“What's going on? Why does my head hurt? What are you doing? Get away from me! You've given me knock-out drops, you want to do something evil with me...”
“No, Olive, you are not going anywhere. You are too weak to stand. You must have slipped on the ice and hit your head. I have phoned granny. She has phoned your George and will pick him up at the station. They will be here soon.”
“I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.”
“Calm down, Olive!”
“You just hate me, Bill.”
“No, Olive. I don't hate you, I don't even dislike you. My emotions go in a different direction.”
“I will tell you something that I have never told anyone before.
I am deeply in love with granny.
I think granny is deeply in love with me.
I've never felt this way about somebody before.”