Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Conversation

Cathy and I are in bed:

"I don't mean to be rude, but lately I've been coughing up some awful shit. I try to ignore the simple fact, but I must come to terms with it: I am a man in decline. Perhaps my illness is a mere cocoon and in time I will emerge as something greater, either in this life or another; or perhaps the celestial chefs are preparing me for a party of worms. I see it. The waiter is a black dog--he cannot help but drool--and I'm the lunchtime special. 'Woof! He comes marinated in sweat with a delicious sauce of mucus. He is not high-born but he was good at pretending. Woof! Woof!'

"But of course the worms don't care, the slimy idiots."

"Oh," she whispers in my ear. "Nigel must you always talk like that? Must you be so dreary and strange?"

"Cathy I'm only being honest and, perhaps, trying out a new method of seduction. I confess that shit about the dog was obviously pre-written. Punish me." She sighs and turns over. "Now don't wreck my evening. Please go to sleep while I cool off in the garage with my cars." I slap the bedside table and storm outside as though I were young.

I am afraid to flick on any light more bright than dim. I suppose Cathy's right. I am a nuisance.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Nigel, Anne Sexton wrote this poem:

"Perhaps I was born kneeling, born coughing on the long winter, born expecting the kiss of mercy, born with a passion for quickness and yet, as things progressed, I learned early about the stockade or taken out, the fume of the enema. By two or three I learned not to kneel, not to expect, to plant my fires underground where none but the dolls, perfect and awful, could be whispered to or laid down to die.

Now that I have written many words, and let out so many loves, for so many, and been altogether what I always was - a woman of excess, of zeal and greed. I find the effort useless. Do I not look in the mirror these days and see a drunken rat avert her eyes? Do I not feel the hunger so acutely that I would rather die than look into its face? I kneel once more, in case mercy should come in the nick of time."

Be well, Dear Nigel.