Friday, 7 May 2010
'I’m not hungry’, he says.
‘What do I do with this?’ he asks, staring blankly at the can opener,
After he offers to make the tuna salad on his own.
So I open the can of tuna. I show him how.
Then he accidentally drops it on the floor, with a defeated moan.
Of course, I tell him to sit down – ‘I’ll do it’, I say.
And I watch him drag his feet towards the couch.
He looks at the TV guide, and grabs the remote.
I tell him to sit up straight and not to slouch.
I bite my lip. I try not to yell – I do.
In silence I wipe tuna broth from the kitchen blinds.
I’m a nagging wife, and he’s a lazy husband.
Is this how we’re going to spend the rest of our lives?
Frankly, what is there to say to a man so stubborn?
So stubborn he neglects to wash his phlegm down the drain.
Why do I always have to clean up all his mess? I ask.
Or take his washing off the line in the rain?
Clean, wash, eat, wash, clean, yell.
Can he not lend me a hand for just one day?
Nag, prod, whine, prod, nag, complain.
How does he manage to always get his way?
I bring him his salad. ‘I’m not hungry’, he says.
I feel my face go hot and my ears burn red.
He says, ‘Put it in the fridge. I’ll eat it later.’
At times like these, I wish he were dead.
I go back into the kitchen and put the salad in the fridge.
I pour myself a glass of wine. I put poison round the rim.
I return into the lounge, in my crazy calm,
And I say, ‘Oh darling, sorry, would you like some gin?’
He grunts and nods. I take that as a yes.
I expect he’ll take a sip from my wine.
I bring him his gin, but hasn’t touched my glass.
Tonight will not be the night, I commit this crime.
Instead, I decide, it’ll be my last night.
I don’t care if I go to heaven or if I go to hell.
No more waiting hand and foot on a grumpy old man.
No more pretending life is all dandy and well.
I begin to sing a song I wrote for him once.
With wine glass in hand, I jump onto his lap.
He tells me to get off and to ‘shut up, slut – Now!’
I scull my wine. He says, ‘Cut the crap.’
So, I watch the blue light flicker on his stale face.
It slowly becomes a blur. I feel myself fall.
It’s over, I sigh. I’m finally fading.
Then I realise he had sipped my wine, after all.
We both meet each other, on the other side.
And he tells me off for killing him.
‘It’s not my fault you took a sip from my glass’, I say.
But I misunderstood. That was not the sin.
‘I love you,’ he says, before he leaves me standing alone.
He never makes it through the wall of light.
I watch him now, from above, as he cooks and cleans.
Perhaps we missed a chance to make things right.
I’m stuck somewhere. I don’t know where.
But I don’t ever, ever seem to sleep.
And I’m burdened now, with my husband’s grief.
And I’m forced to watch – watch him weep.