Wednesday, December 3, 2008

L'esprit de l'escalier

So the phone conversation had been impassioned and lively like it usually was, ranging widely across the far fields of subject matter exotic and domestic alike -- work, travel, family, work, literary gossip, his wife, work, her bloke, work, literary gossip, work -- and then he said, straight out of left field and in a slightly wounded tone she could not account for, 'I do think about you quite often, you know.'

After she had recovered the power of speech, which took a moment, she said, perhaps more tartly than she intended, 'Where did that come from?'

This made him slightly snarky, which for all of the [insert number of decades here] she'd known him had been a fatally easy thing to do. Actually, accidentally provoking a murderous rage had always been a fatally easy thing to do. She said soothing and diversionary things and the moment passed.

But as she stood at the kitchen sink next morning, washing dishes while the coffee made itself, it came to her that what she should have said then, in the interests of truth, was 'Listen, sweetheart: considering that my first impulse was to jump in the car, drive the [insert number of kilometres here] to your place, smash the door down and rip the living heart right out of your chest with my non-existent fingernails, you are actually getting off quite lightly.'


The Paradoxical Cat said...

This made me laugh, too long and too loud.

Perhaps I've underestimated staircase wit. It might be a good thing after all. It might have saved many lives!

Love your pic of the cat eyeing the bedside glass of water. We have the same problem and use Chinese cups with the little porcelain covers on top, but the Tabby just knocks them off.

Elsewhere007 said...

Golly gosh!

Zoe said...

I have been singing "flame trees" all day and I didn't know why.


Anonymous said...

damn you Zoe, now i've got it, one of Don Walker's best, tho.

Thanks PC i've been trying to remember that word for a while.


Bernice said...

Is DYI open heart surgery a good or bad romantic response?

I suspect I need to read a Sarah Fforde novel or two...

genevieve said...

sorry, just had to share it - it was too good to pass on.
Before reading this the other day I heard someone talking on ABC FM about taking ribs out of a chest in an autopsy, then going to the lunchroom and trying to EAT ribs. That kinda day.

naomi said...

I relate only too well to the perils of communicating with spiky men. My recent facebook experience of friending a spiky bloke and being messaged back that he didn't see any point in being my facebook friend was a case in point. My immediate response - 'so you're still a c**t then?'

Odd bastard then emailed me yesterday to say that it would be fine if I wanted to email him to tell him what I was up to ... what gives?

So yes, your spike-meister did get off litely