Kevin woke, as usual late and as usual with the dying embers of an erection. The latter of pretty much no use to him as Kevin did not have girlfriends. Unless you counted his handjobs with Deidre from the library but she’d moved away now. To Swindon. And as usual Kevin did not even bother with a desultory wank. So the erection dwindled as did Kevin’s opinion of himself. He surveyed his flat – he knew it was a bedsit, even if the agent he rented from insisted it was a studio flat- and noted that that none of the contents were his. He owned very little apart from his clothes, a few Readers’ Digests and as of today the remains of last night’s Indian takeaway – still there on the threadbare draylon chair by the window.
He really was man of no substance, a librarian of no substance in fact. All he had was that picture of his mother, and that – today – was being auctioned.
His mother! Now there was the story. Celia Sanderson – a humanitarian heroine – the saver of childrens’ lives in Africa, a UN goodwill ambassador, CBE in the UK and countless other global honours. Years he had spent in her shadow and now all she could think of to do was die. She’d fucked off and left Kevin alone. He was free at last to be, well to be Kevin the librarian. And Kevin was selling all he had of her – the portrait.
He dressed quickly- the auction was at 10 and he wanted to see how much the picture of her went for – a few quid would be handy – as would getting rid of the picture. His best beige slacks on, Kevin was out the door and on the bus to the auction rooms.
Kevin arrived at about 1030 and the auction was in full swing. He knew his picture was due up at about 11 so he took a number, sat at the back patiently and waited. The room was full and things sold so fast that he almost missed the moment.
“Lot 54 a full length portrait of the world famous humanitarian worker Celia Sanderson CBE, painted by Peter Harris in 1974. Shall we start at 500?”
Suddenly, like a man possessed, Kevin was on his feet and bidding, every other bid he outbid as the price rocketed upwards. At 1600 pounds the other buyers stopped and
“For the first time, for the second time – sold at 1600 pounds to number …. ?”
Kevin held up his number.
“to number 94. So sir why were you so keen to buy this picture?” Asked the auctioneer.
“She was my mother” replied Kevin.
There was a stunned silence in the room followed by a cacophony of voices.
“What a woman.”
“You must be so proud.”
“She did so much good.”
“You must miss her so much.”
Kevin stood and Kevin ran out of the door. Kevin ran and ran and ran .