by Simon Evans
Darling could you please pass me my pink cravat?
Of course Darling, do you know where you popped it down?
I think it’s on the portmanteau Darling.
The portmanteau in the parlour or the portmanteau in the music room?
Oh it’s OK Darling, I’m wearing it!
Oh how funny Darling. You really are a perfect prize silly.
I really love you Darling!
You too Darling!
I’m feeling unfulfilled Darling!
In what way Darling?
Oh…generally and with my career and with the children Darling.
Oh dear. What’s the problem with the children?
I don’t know Darling, I just don’t really like them anymore.
Oh crumbs. But can you still take them to Oboe practise tonight Darling?
Yes of course. Should I take the Rover, the SAAB or the Audi?
Oh I’m afraid I boxed the Rover in with the Hyundai so your options are rather limited.
Where are their Oboes Darling?
They’re in the SAAB I think Darling.
Well that’s settled then Darling. I shall take the SAAB…..Darling?
Oh just checking that you’re still there!
Yes I’m here Darling! Are you OK?
Not really Darling. I’m feeling rather scared.
Oh drat Darling. Whatever are you scared of?
I’m scared of falling asleep because I hate the dark and my perfectly horrid dreams. I’m scared of the screaming when I awake and the horror as a new day faces me like an angry school master. I’m scared of the same drive to work every day and the overwhelming desire to drive into the oncoming traffic. I’m scared of losing my job, I’m scared of my colleagues, I’m scared of working and I’m scared of coming home. And I’m scared of the children, I don’t like the way they look at me. And oboes. I’m scared of oboes.
Well that’s all a dratted nuisance isn’t it Darling? Perhaps you would like a snack?
Darling, I rather fear that I have no appetite and that I have something awful to tell you and that the reason for my lack of appetite is directly linked to what I have to tell you.
Oh Darling, something awful?
Something nasty Darling.
Oh Darling, something nasty?
Yes Darling. It’s all rather rum.
No thank you.
Darling you look terribly peaky.
Yes, Darling. I’m feeling rather out of sorts if truth be told.
Oh Darling. Did you see Dr Trivago today about your gassy torso?
I rather think I did Darling. He did all manner of prodding and poking and has given me some rather dratted news.
Oh drat Darling. What did he say?
I need to sit down Darling. I’m spinning like a top.
Do sit Darling; you look like you’ve seen a veritable ghost. Now, please Darling, what did Dr Trivago say?
I have a nodule Darling.
A nodule Darling?
Yes. It’s the size and shape of a child’s wellington. And it’s covered in postules.
On a nodule?
On a nodule Darling.
The size and shape of a wellington?
A child’s wellington Darling.
What a nuisance Darling. A perfect nuisance. Will you still be able to pop to the Harper-Joneses for punch and bridge on Sunday. Or is that out now?
I rather think I could muster some good old British strength and take part Darling but our trip to Zanzibar next summer may be starting to look rather doubtful.
Oh piggies. Why ever would that be Darling, we’ve bought the tickets.
Well Darling, it’s what old man Dr Trivago said about the old longevity in the old um, the old expectations and what not of the old tests and what not and the best case and worst case and what to hope for and I feel rather um you know rather terribly awfully about it.
Oh really Darling, we’ve promised to go and the Penman-Trumptons are due to meet us in Ngorongoro.
Well Darling I’ll do my darndest but you see old man Trivago was rather insistent about um, about time and the rather um, aggressive spread of the old nodule and the rather unpleasant impact of the dratted postules and such and the um, well I find it confusing to remember but there was all sorts of mumbo jumbo and medical jiggery pokery but the old prognosis and so forth was all rather rum and you know all the arrangements to be made and children to think of and the blasted finances and the increasing tiredness and so forth to contend with and the prevailing mental wind being one of despair Darling and real you know fear and what not really makes one feel like, um makes one feel like the earth has started to rather swallow one and spit one out while the soul is kicked and bucked by this damnable wild horse of an illness and the mind was always rather feeble or so father said and not being the strong type and so on it’s all rather tricky and one feels that just existing becomes something of a slippery slope in a physical and um, well, mental and spiritual fashion which all results in something less than ship shape.
Wild horse Darling?
Well Darling if the children are going to make Oboe practise this side of midnight I suggest you set off now. And please be a dear poppet and pick up some rosemary breadsticks on your way back.