Naturally it occurred to me that I could tell cousin Francis the truth and make him look absurd… moreso… on the Morning Show. I can’t see that low grade TV celebrity does him many favours. His face looks too wide and his eyes proportionately smaller, as though they have retracted on their stalks away from the bright studio lights and the rank stench of whoring yourself to Channel 7. Anyway never mind that. Instead of sitting on a murderous rage like I have done before, I went to see my psychotherapist. She is a very wise and learned woman who looks like Helen Mirren. I found her quite by chance when looking through the phone book because she practices in a place called ‘Rambling Rose Cottage’ and the lovely name struck a pleasant chord with me and my poetic soul. It is a doctor’s surgery like any other, just with a few more lavender bags and scented soap bars stuck around for good measure. But Dr Mirren sits on one of those transparent plastic ghost chairs, which makes her look like she is levitating, and radiates reticence and expensive perfumes in the honeyed sunlight, like all good psychologists should.
I had expected her to tell me that I was repressing a great fear that my cousin was usurping my rightful place but instead she waved all that aside, pointing out that it didn’t seem as though I liked my father very much when it came down to it. “But really,” she said at last, “this paranoid delusion you have that Frank Sinatra is the cause of your failure in life is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard in my career, and I have met seventeen Jesus’s and twelve Napoleons. Most people will only get as far as imagining that they are being persecuted by the government or the CIA, which might after all in fact be the case in this political clime. But Frank Sinatra was a charming man of prodigious talent. When you accuse him of blacklisting you, you only sound like an embittered TV and Variety entertainer.”
“It’s not a paranoid delusion if it’s the truth, it’s just a sad fact,” I sniffed. “Nancy Sinatra told me herself when she was signing the cheque; she said, ‘I’ve added an extra zero to make up for what my father did to you.'”
Dr. Mirren took a long time writing this down. It had never struck me that she might be an old blue eyes fan. You can never tell by looking. I sniffed again.
Finally we agreed upon a course of strong blue pills and she advised me that it would be best if I simply found Love and Welcomed Frankie into the family… moreso. Now that he’s found a masculine ideal to graft himself onto he is looking less wet than usual, I must admit, even if his face has got wider there is a bloom to it.
So I hightailed it up to Shitsville Ranch, to settle the matter one way or the other. The woods were filled with sweet birdsong, peonies and gentian larkspur were in blossom, a radiant light suffused the glen and all around was the pleasant hum of honeybees. I went in and found my father Tom Jones in the kitchen making another lemon and cayenne pepper slimming brew.