In the dozen years since he last saw her, his mother had grown old. The skin around her neck was loose and fell in folds, like her flesh coloured tights around her ankles that last time he battered down the door of the downstairs cloakroom and slit her throat as she sat frozen on the commode.
As ever, she didn't recognize him. Instead, her fury was directed against the big Cameroonian Community Psychiatric Nurse though it was actually the tiny- not dumb but, Trinity Coll., Dublin- blonde from the Housing Association who was most culpable for this latest bureaucratic balls-up.
'It's the bed-room tax, Missus', boomed the big, black, apprentice Fanon, trying to hide his Francophone accent the way he'd been taught on the Atos crash-course on the cost-effective handling of Alzheimer's patients.
'Aren't you the lucky one now, what with yer sonny boy moving in with yer and looking after you when there's many as wouldn't give de toime o' day to thaar own macushla?' the little colleen chirped, tactically exaggerating her strategically affected brogue.
'You can't do this to me!' but the old woman's protests were already feeble for she'd made the same protest too many times before. 'It was all a mix-up at the hospital. I only went in for a gallbladder operation. Then, out of the blue, you people turned up on my doorstep insisting I'd had a son. I was just 17 and not even married! And then, thanks to the baby, I never could be. Every ten or twelve years he tries to saw my head off. Surely, it must be somebody else's turn?'
'Yaas, Missus, yo' is the lucky one sho' nuff. Yo'r son dun come look after you somefin chronic, Alleluia!'
'Och, and him a broth of a boy, may yer shadder ne'er grow less, bigob & begorrah!' the winsome blonde, who too had attended that same Atos course, enthusiastically attested, dashing a professional tear from her cheek preparatory to signing off on the case & re-holstering her Nexus 7.
Now all eyes were upon our soon to be Big Brother hero. But eyes seeking confirmation of which class or ethnic stereotype? Things are so confused these days. Generic English English will have to do.
'Hello Mum,' he said and walked past her into the kitchen where the knives whispered welcome. Thank you, Clegg & Cameron. It's good to be home.