Is this love—love—love
George—George—Geeoooorrrrrgggge!’ Nina’s voice, ringed with a razors, slices through his sleep.
A crash, scuffle and string of profanity heralds his tumble from bed. Bloodshot eyes blink into the light in the bewildered way he faced every morning. As if someone just invented it and he’d never seen one before.
‘What!’ His growl is coarse and phlegmy in an early morning—not had enough sleep—voice.
He worked all night on the accounts for a small cleaning firm on the verge of bankruptcy. They needed freshly tarted up profit and loss sheets to fool the bank into extend their overdraft, already stretched as ancient underwear elastic.
‘Get in here!’ she commands, rubber gloved fists on hips.
He stumbles into the bathroom bleary eyed and uncoordinated, dressed in baggy I love NY boxer shorts and
a faded, once-black, now grey “Dyslexics Untie” T-shirt. His face has a pale, pinched—I don’t get to see enough
sunlight—quality and the unbuttoned front of his Boxers reveals a hopeful morning boner.
He rubs his eyes with his fists in a childlike gesture which simultaneously clenches her heart with its cuteness and pisses her off.
‘What?’ he says.
‘That!’ She pointed at the offensive hair.
It is a little known fact that only humans will actually follow the line indicated by a pointing finger, all other animals, including primates and higher order apes will look at the end of the finger.
George stares at the end of her finger for a full ten seconds, shakes his head and follows the line all the way to the curly little pube.
His gaze flicks from it to her to it again. He walks to the toilet seat picks it up, drops it in to the bowl and
flushes. He looks at her again. His—what the fuck—look. Turns on his heel and walks away.
And she did, what she always did at these times, follows him.
‘For fuck sake George! It’s bad enough that I have to try and hold down a part time job, take care of your house, study, and try to keep our teenage son alive—because you don’t make a god damn effort to communicate
with him in any sort of positive parental way.’ Take a deep breath. ‘It’s not like you ever sit down and ask him how he’s doing, or show any interest in his life apart from having an issue with the way he looks and the number of towels he uses when he has a shower. Christ, I don’t expect that much from you.’ Take a deep breath. ‘It’s not like
Is this love—love—love
I mind if you go out with your mates, as long as you come back at a reasonable hour. Last Friday, 11.30 pm for God sake what were you thinking.......’ On and on and on she went, yada-yada blah-blah; for fuck sake George this, for
fuck sake George that...’.
During the discourse George showered, washed his teeth, shaved, got dressed, make breakfast, eats it, drink his coffee and reads the newspaper; in his peculiar order special order. All of the sports section, the to-buy section, a quick flick through the world news to the quiz and crosswords.
Finally as he finishes the crossword, fills in thirty two across, sure footed mountain dweller, Ibex which he spelt as Ipex, as he got sixteen down spectacularly wrong. To physically chastise, he wrote spank and it is abuse—
They cover every one of his inadequacies. Even the fact he thought their song is Daniel by Elton John
which he sung for her the night they met and the dingiest Karaoke bar in the word; a place where you wipe your feet on the way out. When it is clearly Unchained Melody; which was playing the first time they made love.
George mutters to himself that the national anthem could have been playing the first time they made love and he wouldn’t have noticed.
When her voice finally peters out he looks up.
His hazel eyes, enlarged by the magnification of his spectacles, ask silently if she is finished. Saying those particular words out loud, he knew from experience, could result in personal injury at certain times of the lunar month—today being one of those days. He knew this because there is a big fat cross engraved over the date on the mental calendar tattooed on his cerebral cortex.
Suddenly her face crumples and she burst into tears. Loud gulping snotty tears guarantee to make her look like crap in the space of a few moments.
Not that he would ever say that—not that he even notices it.
He reaches out, big strong arms. ‘Oh...baby,’ he sooths, pulls her down onto his lap, trying not to grunt as
the full weight of her backside lands on his thighs with a thud. ‘Oh darling sweetheart—yes, yes—it’s my fault, I
am totally useless and completely irresponsible...’