Your mum makes me wade through the floorboards with a dustpan and brush like I’m paddling into the sea—she doesn’t even care that I’m asleep. No one in this house cares about the corns on my big toe or the clenched fist stuck between my teeth.

As I stir pots of Seinfeld VHS tapes and listen to them melt, you strip me bare and whip me with ears of corn.

Your uncle says I should smile at autistic children in cafés and makes me dig trenches in the style of Frank Sinatra. It’s tiring and I wipe my sweat on a brick wall.

When you’re out, I loosen the brakes on your dad’s motorbike that’s parked on the roof, and if it topples onto the manicured lawn below, you can’t prove a thing.

I loathe the yogic breathing you make me practice in the loft. I inhale and exhale in search of peace yet all I can think of is how to escape the straitjacket your brother is knitting on the porch.

I have to sleep in the shed and every morning when I roll out of bed, I’m greeted by your mum dancing naked around the garden. She’s a gorilla and a brute but, you, her daughter, are not much better. You waterboard me with lemonade and chase me up the apple tree.

I need to leave this rotten household, this wretched tomb, but I would need a red carpet send-off, or maybe a gunfire salute to celebrate my farewell. I won’t settle for anything less. I’ve sacrificed too much.

So, I’ll continue to paint the walls with excerpts of your mother’s diary, because I believe in literature. I will adapt to life with your family—blow balloons for your uncle on his birthday, steer clear of the poisoned dip at Easter. I’ll crack a smile at Christmas and sip mulled wine while your family edge away from me, slowly, deliberately. But as I get steadily drunk at New Year’s, I’ll caress your curves at midnight and taste your reptilian lips. Then I’ll hatch a scheme to sculpt your home like a block of marble, and chisel it into an image that is completely my own.