I am a naturally exuberant character. I treat the world as my village, and will talk to almost anybody, apart from those like mass murderers whose company is reputed to be bad for your health, but even I have soul searing moments. Perhaps you know it, when you are standing in front of the bathroom mirror, looking at your reflection and watching the tears flow silently down your cheeks. You clutch your toothbrush ever tighter as you fight to control your sobs. At last you feel a hand on your arm and you hear your wife say, “What is the matter dearest?”.
You turn to face her, and look into her eyes, her soul , her spirit seeking some relief from the awful truth which cannot, must not be spoken but which is forcing itself into daylight. You search the depths of her understanding until at last, exhausted and fragile, you hear the words, almost disembodied, spill from your mouth. “I cannot make puff-pastry” “Sorry” says your wife. temporarily thrown off-balance. “I cannot make puff-pastry. I will never sit before the oven and see my creation rise above the baking tray in glorious mountains of taste heaven.”
Something like a shadow passes the over her face, and without speech you can read her thoughts. “There are over three billion men on this planet, but somehow I had to marry you”.
Fair enough, each corner of our lives may not be covered in glory but we all have our moments. Later, walking along a beach bathed in sunlight and I wish I might be one of those men for whom the whole place stood still. Even the beach ball freezes in mid-flight and across the golden expanse of this holiday paradise you might hear the thoughts of women folk murmuring, “He’s hot, ripped, shaped” or whatever their expression might be. Sadly with my body cased in nothing but my knee-length Harris tweed bathing trunks and a small sombrero, the only description I can hear of my physique is “He’s melted” which might indicate my stomach flows down in gentle undulations towards, and finally over my belt. But, do we mind that. No. because I know that my wrist is still in spectacular condition. If sitting near some attractive girl, I might make sure my arm is slightly extended and wiggle my hand around a bit. Show them I’ve still got the magic and the power to attract. Am I faithful: of course I am, but with me it’s still a matter of choice and not desperation
This thought was with me as I walked over the sand to the café where the athletic among us were sizing up the menu to decide which cake went better with their latte. Being exuberant as I said, I will talk to anyone, so I smiled at the man sitting opposite me at the table, and he begins to speak. “I hate all people”, “Everyone?” I ask. ” Yes, White, Black, Green, Orange: everyone”. That seems to cover most people on the planet and one or two other solar systems so I look for spiritual sunlight elsewhere. “What about music then?” and I pause to take a bite of my delicious almond and apricot coated pastry”…… Ah yes, where was I. Yes “I hate music” he said.
Interesting point of view, clearly. I ask again, “So you hate every note?”. He pauses a bit and finally with a look of suffering which can only recall that embarrassing moment in front of the bathroom mirror he says, “I don’t mind middle C”. Ok, it’s not a world of riches but its a start. I tuck into the experience.
“So are we allowed to change the volume? You know, one note, but louder, then softer and then suddenly louder again to keep the listener guessing”. I give a brief vocal rendition to make the point clearer to him. That look I remembered from the morning bathroom conversation passes over his face and I know he’s thinking “There are over six billion people on the planet but I’m sitting here with this idiot, and where did he get that hat”. Desperate to claw myself back into his good books I ask him, “Getting any wrist action?”. For reasons known only to himself, he leaves without finishing his coffee.