An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Sunday, April 30, 2006

I could never be lonely without a husband

Hearing him go in upstairs she realised that he had gone for his daily dump. Following his lead she took a leak and changed into her gardening clothes. She had been meaning to trim those bushes by the front door ever since the red rain of last week had left them looking shabby. If she cleaned out the dogs' run and changed their water then he would have gone and she wouldn't be disturbed for a good couple of hours. She wanted some solitude - some time to herself - and topiary was such a therapeutic pursuit. It would be ideal. The accounts for the month could wait. There would be plenty of time today and if she cleared her mind then the accounts would become less onerous. At least there were only the 5 accounts to balance nowadays - a gross simplification that she had wrought on their move here. She pulled on her gloves and went to the potting shed to get her secateurs - she'd do the dogs on her way but there was no need to come back inside for a while. She had the water bottle and everything else she needed was stored in the run. She fussed them down and stroked them as she went about the clean up. Finally, with the kennel swept, faeces cleared, and urine washed away, she swept the disturbed gravel back where it belonged and sat down on the decking with them. They climbed all over her and because she had on her gardening clothes that were proof enough against brambles and thistles she let them. They really were a joy. Uncomplicated and loving without reserve. She shared a goodly while with them this morning - they were cool in the breeze and not yet looking for shade.

Up at the front door she looked at the bushes and bethought herself, "I wish I knew what they were. Doesn't matter. Who cares anyway? I do. I'll ask Babbis next time. Goblet or bowl? Bowl I think. Goodness they're lopsided. And look at all that leafburn from the south wind. Not content with dumping half the Sahara on us it burns their leaves too. Such is life. The price we pay." and she laughed at herself, "I'm becoming quite sanguine and philosophical these last years. Who the hell is this Sue Graffi Gilbert was talking about? Not one of his previous lovers - I'm sure of that. I know I don't know them all - even he doesn't recall all of them but no she cannot be. Someone we knew? Someone who's got it in for him? Why? I know there are lots of untidy ends left over from the previous fabrics of his lives. But no. He'd have said. No, he didn't know - really didn't know. But if someone's resurrected Dick who else might be running around out there? Please not let one of them be that hideously talentless Lamont please. I genuinely hated that weak willed man - really. I must stop saying really all the time it makes me sound stupid. Even Gilbert hasn't thought of reusing him and he can be too assiduous about such economies for his own good sometimes. If it's only Defective Dick we'll be OK. Probably. He was a meddlesome, nosey, interfering little shit but there wasn't much harm in him really. There I go again stop it. His inner life is going to overwhelm us one day be sure of it. If all of that crap comes bubbling out at once we'll drown in it and that's for sure. That language centre seeding idea that he'd mentioned was worth thinking about though - possibly pre-Babel? Maybe that was the "confusion" they meant - losing that ability, clarity, unambiguousness. That bit's always bothered me about xtianity - I mean how can you have a loving god who reveals his plan in an hermeneutic text? Why would such a being do that? More - why use a purposely ambiguous mechanism? Language was built for lying not communicating after all. But Babel could explain it. What if before Babel language really was plain and communicative? Then that would mean that the word was originally perfectly accessible and its meaning obvious and beyond argument. o the xitian god sort of shot himself in the foot when he confused language turning his own text into a morass of hermeneutics. Could be. Makes a kind of sense I guess. I'll talk to Gilbert about it when he gets back. What time is it?" But instead of checking her watch she hunkered down to the topiary at hand. It was later when she heard the car draw up behind her - just as she was finishing up the second of the two bushes. She stepped back, admired her own handiwork and looked around for him. And there he was, coming through the bamboo gate. She stepped up and carelessly kissed him, "Everything go alright? What do you think?", sweeping her hand bushward. "Not well", come on let's make some tea and I'll tell you about it. And yes, I think they look absolutely spiffy. Much better. Tidy but not manicured - just like we like things".

And over a pot of Assam he explained how Adonis had not turned up. How he had been drunk the night before - his birthday - and had fallen heavily - he was "nearly dead" he had explained on the phone. But he had coerced Kostas into doing the service on Betty. What was worse was that while there he had checked on Daisy and despite all of the positive news that Adonis had been delivering for the past week she looked the same as before - she still needed welding and she didn't look like she'd be moving anywhere anytime soon. Gilbert was, he felt, righteously pissed off. And then she noticed - not only was he clearly angry but he was somehow looking older than he had when he left. She had noticed a little limp when he came down the path. She checked his eyes - the wrinkles were back. She checked his hands - so were the liver spots. There was the beginnings of a five o'clock shadow on his cheek.

(to be continued ... )

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