…and they all lived happily ever after

I SUPPOSEI could read another book.

Trouble is, it’s a bit like watching television, but without the remote control,; and I’m really, really over television. I threw it out.

I have been living alone now for five months, ever since my wife decided she wanted to live alone.

It was tense for a while, and then I thought… well I’ll show her. Let’s see how she likes a dose of her own medicine!

And she does.

That wasn’t supposed to happen; but since it has I just to have to deal with it.

I could read another book.

Trouble is, they have happy endings, and I can’t handle those at the moment. Or they have sad endings, and I can’t handle those either.

So without a book or a television I just have to sit here and think. Or eat. Or cook.

Actually that has been the upside of this new arrangement (which, incidentally, now appears to be permanent). I can make custard. I don’t mean out of a packet, or a carton. I mean with milk and sugar and, egg yolks and vanilla, in a saucepan.

Why would you bother, I hear you ask?

It’s either that or a book, and I can’t read another book at the moment.

I have straightened all the paper clips in my little jar, and with one of them I have dug out all the detritus from the crack in desk top. I have been for a walk and ended up at the pub, where all anyone is talking about is footy or the election and I don’t have any enthusiasm for either, so I left again.

I could take up a good cause, but I feel as if I am one! Well… a cause anyway.

So what did people do in the days before television, pubs and libraries – assuming there were days before television, pubs and libraries?

I suppose they talked to each other.

Been there, done that.

It ends up in a state of acrimony about leaving the dirty washing on the floor, and forgetting to shut the chickens up. You know… those really deep and important issues on which relationships founder.

Now, of course, I don’t have any chickens. My wife’s got those, and sometimes I want to sneak round there at night to see if the chickens are shut up, so I can go “Aha!” and gloat. But there’s a name for blokes who go sneaking round women’s houses at night, and I have enough problems already.

I am, however, putting the dirty washing in the laundry basket. With no books and no television, this counts as entertainment where I live. Sometimes I take it out again and rearrange it, and put it back.

Sometimes I wash it.

Anyway, tonight there is no dirty washing. Only what I’m wearing, and it’s too early to take it off yet (there’s probably a name for blokes who strip off and work, naked, at a keyboard, too).

So… with no book, no television, spare custard in the fridge, all the paper clips straightened and no energy to go to the pub to talk about John and Kevin… what am I going to do?

I have an idea. I don’t have to read a book –– I can write one!

Once upon a time there was a man who said to his wife: “Okay, if you want to live alone then I’ll move out…”

Trouble is I don’t know what to do about the bit where it’s supposed to say: “…and they all lived happily ever after.”