A Marriage Made in Purgatory

Geoff watched his wife drain the last of the wine into her glass, “Would I like some ” he asked sarcastically, as he scratched around on his plate for some consoling morsel. His wife was a women undisciplined by concern for others, and had little care for him. She liked to belittle him in public, and he liked to spend the money she gave him as an allowance. She was wealthy and he was between engagements: a position he had held for fifteen years.

When he met her she was in her early thirties and ten years older than him. She settled on him, I thought, because he was happy to escort her to the theatre or the restaurant and willing to take the dismissive commentary she gave on his character and talents. “Oh Geoff can open doors” I heard her say within calculated earshot: “It is his primary ability”  when someone complemented her on his manners.

On a recent cruise to admire some new built port with the largest shopping arcade in the western hemisphere, and did the eastern hemisphere have shopping arcades, Geoff found himself sitting at the captain’s table. ” Go and fetch my toothpicks from the cabin” she asked her husband, once sure of the Captain’s attention. She was impervious to embarrassments as long as the conversation made her husband uncomfortable.

I know their intimacy extended as far as the front door and that they had separate bedrooms. I worked as their valet and occasional sounding board if Geoff felt like indulging in emotion; normally he had the ability to notice nothing; “Ah Yes” and “Beautiful” seemed to cover most eventualities. He made a point of avoiding all opinions. Why he sold his soul in this way I never dared to ask, but as I saw him berated on a daily basis I reflected that money may not buy you happiness but misery often comes free of charge.

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in bullying, character, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Life, Relationships, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to A Marriage Made in Purgatory

  1. kristikdavidson says:

    Oh Ducks! Two splendidly delicious pieces, two weeks in a row. I hope this means you are back and are not just teasing. Or is this a consoling morsel to tide us over? Brilliant, just brilliant!


  2. renxkyoko says:

    Oh ! That made me furious ! ! What the heck !


  3. Barbara says:

    Sadly, I’ve experienced couples like this, although usually the other way around. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to exist this way, but you depicted it very well.


  4. Al says:

    It’s terrible how often we see money trumping pride and character. By the way, you never mentioned her address.


  5. lexborgia says:

    A very cool story, memorable lines(Geoff can open doors/ a position he had held for fifteen years/ go fetch my toothpicks[lol])). Well played. Ah yes.


  6. Jane says:

    You leave us hanging…please continue on with this. You are such a tease.


  7. desertrose7 says:

    You teach people how to treat you.
    As they say….it takes two to tango. Nice write.


  8. A great piece! Sadly these people actually exist! I want to push her face back! And Im a gentle soul!!! 🙂


  9. Purely.. Kay says:

    WHAT?! Okay let me calm down from reading this piece lol. But this was an amazing read my friend.


  10. Paul J. Stam says:

    I find it interesting that most of the comments berate her. He is the one who accepted the situation. Oh, I forgot to say, thanks you so much for liking my post of an excerpt “Question of Reputation – 7” on writingiam.wordpress.com. Thanks again and Aloha – pjs.


  11. Kavita Joshi says:

    wow..this is deep and I often wonder too why people live like this and why not just break free..but I think I know sometimes we are afraid of unknown and hence settle for known even if its not good enough 🙂 thanks for sharing Counting Ducks…awesome post 🙂 Are you working on more posts like this now? Its been while since we have seen u back in the game dear


  12. eric keys says:

    The things a valet must see…


  13. ampbreia says:

    Poor dumb guy, selling his heart out like that!


  14. ~~~Peter,
    you have such an old style of writing. Unique Voice & Oh-So- Wonderful.

    Xxx LOVE from MN.


  15. I like this. Happens to both men and women. I once read somewhere that if you marry for money you are going to have to earn it. So true. Great visuals on the imbalances from the outset. One might well have a dog fetching. But then the dog wouldn’t feel embarrassed no matter what she said, lol. Trade-offs, huh. Life is full of ’em.


  16. gotham girl says:

    I see this so often…so sad and you wrote about it brilliantly!


  17. Soooo sad, but soooo well written….a completely relatable glimpse of one aspect of the human condition. Geoff…*sigh*….poor bastard…


  18. “She was wealthy and he was between engagements: a position he had held for fifteen years.” Top shelf writing, Peter!

    Remember when your blog was visited by only a few people? Now look it you! I’m so happy for you. 🙂


  19. Lorna ‘stole’ my favorite line, Peter! I love the tongue-in-cheek style of your writing … Oscar Wild-ish … and he was a master of observation and wryly saying it like it is. As always, a unique reflection excellently written.


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