Living with Ty…
I remember my first big project was spending hours cleaning the kitchen, which had a lovely ‘pine’ (it was light wood) plank floor, a gas stove, a big square sink, with one cold water tap, a little fridge, a couple of cupboards and a small pine table and 4 chairs. We spent a lot of time in this room. We each would take stand-up baths in the kitchen, by boiling big pots of water and pouring them into a tin basin in the sink. It’s amazing what one can used to! Ty often helped me wash my long, ‘blonde’ hair, which was so sweet. His hair was long too, but too often ratty & uncombed when he was in a binge. In the winter, we would keep the stove on, and that would keep us warm. Of course, it didn’t take me long to realize that I had to keep a supply of 10ps to feed the gas meter, which was located just outside the kitchen on the landing wall. Pay As You Go…. I guess..
Ty and his wife were great cooks. Once, early on, he made a ratatouille, which was delicious. There was a little fridge in the kitchen. Somehow there was a tin of cat food on the top shelf (at some point in the new year we adopted a kitten whom we named ‘mousetrap ) and I had the sense that some of dried catfood on the edges of the can had fallen into the leftover ratatouille which much to my horror was not covered and was placed on the fridge shelf below the cat food. All I know was that at some point after eating leftover ratatouille, I became dreadfully ill with vomiting, and the faecal runs, aches and pains and lost hours. God knows what bacteria or toxins that I ingested, it probably wasn’t even the catfood. From then on, I made sure that every foodstuff stored in the fridge was forever covered.
I remember early on when I was still inhabiting Tim’s old bedroom, Ty’s mum had a visit from her daughters (one, two, three,…I cant remember?). I believe that I stayed out of the way. I know Ty went down to his mum’s kitchen and at some point I recall his loud drunken rants and his sisters’ screeching voices. It was late and I was working at Jean Junction on Oxford Street 5 days a week and I had to get up early so I made my way down to my room from the kitchen. I saw the screeching sisters at the front door and they saw me descending the staircase. Ty was somewhere and they were screaming at him. Even though I had been introduced earlier in the evening to the sisters and it had been a reasonably nice encounter, the words “and take your Canadian whore with you”…………assaulted my ears and actually seared my feelings..
Some whore I thought: I was wearing a ankle length yellow teeshirt dress (with a beautiful Victorian brown haired lady graphic on the front) dress, a thick turquoise fleece floor length dressing gown and brown socks and carrying a hot water bottle AND sleeping in the downstairs bedroom, 2 floors beneath Ty’s bed. It was winter, and the house was fucking freezing. When I would awake in those winter mornings, I could see my breath!
I never did know what the Brown family dynamics were, but I got the impression that Ty was living in his mum’s council house and the sisters figured his ailing (morbidly obese) mother was carrying him and perhaps me. HOWEVER, from the moment I moved in to Vic Park, I paid my way and often, his too. Whatever needed paying, like the gas meter for the cooker or the electricity meter, coal for the fire, I would pay it! Sure, I was insulted by that ‘fish wife’ comment, but then his sisters did not know me at all, and I knew poor Ty invited a constant barrage of anger from his family. His mother was always nice to me and I know she always helped Tony out. Whenever they would be together in her basement, he was always decent to his mother.