Life as a Single Man

I HAVE seen the future.

It’s a mug with one toothbrush in it, and a toaster with one slice of bread.

It’s bedroom drawers that only smell of me, and believe me, that is not a Good Thing.

It’s saying, “Wow, look at that sunset.” and having silence as a response instead of “Mmmmmm…” which means your wife is busy threading a needle, which you know makes her feel sick, so stop interrupting. And come to think of it, that’s not so bad.

This is Life as a Single Man

It has a certain pathos, but I’m not complaining. There are upsides.

When I empty my pockets on to the bedside table, it’s all still there when I return to it. Indeed, I shall give up the solitary piece of toast and return to fried bread, which is much better for you, containing as it does, considerably more protein, no matter what my wife says. I shall drink more coffee.

You will recall we have decided to go our separate ways. So I took myself off for a practise. It was interesting, and not without possibilities. But I don’t think it’ll catch on.

For instance, did you know that in Life as a Single Man, if you leave a cup and a half eaten piece of toast beside the kitchen sink at 7.30am, it’s still there when you arrive home at 5.30pm?

I mean, that’s ten hours — surely in ten hours someone or something should have got rid of it? But no.

It had been joined by three cockroaches, though.

And the towel is still damp because it’s still in a heap on the floor.

On the other hand I haven’t seen Home and Away for a week, and I haven’t said “Mmmmm…” with the usual bored uninterest, because I’m reading what the Crocodiles have been up to.

Which hasn’t led to summit meeting about my selfishness.

In fact, I think we are in the process of inventing the perfect relationship. Different houses; occasional visits. Like courting, without the bodily fluids.

I rang her halfway through the week.

“I don’t think it’s my cup of tea.”

“Oh dear.”

“Not cut out for living on my own.”

“But you don’t have to,” she said.

“But I thought you said–”

“You can live with someone else.”

“Do you think they’d put up with me?”

“Only if they’re as stupid as I was.”


“Are you sleeping okay?”

“I suppose so.”

“Don’t forget to hang up the towel or it’ll be useless in the morning.”

“How did you know!”

“Oh… just a wild guess.”


“Talk care of yourself. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. All my love.”


“I didn’t say I didn’t love you. I just can’t live with you.”

“Yeah… I love you, too, I suppose.”

I poured a glass of water to take to bed.


And a biscuit, which makes crumbs, which are very annoying and cause my wife to huff out of bed and huff the sheets down with her hand.

But I can now, so I did.

On the other hand, in the morning it’ll be no good pretending I’m asleep. No one else is going to make the tea.