Monday, January 12, 2009

Walking on Eggshells

Using the same form of intuition found usually in the elderly relative who has always known a grandchild was homosexual but didn't say anything until a stuffed envelope was opened at their wake, I decide it is best to leave early. I open the curtains, peer, into a purple darkness, spattering rain dribbling and chiming with its ricochet rhythm, puddles jiggling with movement as though fish swarmed below.

The argument was sporadic, but stretched across the whole evening. I did consider asking if the constant period of temper was caused by a constant period, but felt this inappropriate, given the circumstances. I suggested sleeping somewhere other than our bed, to a sigh and spiel and shrug combination, so I did sleep somewhere else, cushions as pillows and quilt, agitated by the constant ticking of a clock I cannot remember purchasing.

Outside a stranger's house, the bus corporation have erected an electronic bus stop, on which is displayed the time at which the bus will arrive late. The house chosen for the place of this new bus stop is a slab of suburban comfort, framed by gardens, trees, middle-class complacency. The woman who lives there could be divorced, I consider, who has tried to balance her preference for Scandinavian furniture with her former husband's drab taste for mahogany, carpets, door-handles arched into grins.

Maybe not, I decide. The elderly couple who live in the house are happily married, make sandwiches, tend plants, chop tomatoes and lettuces together for salads. She likes Su Doku, he places bets on the horses by scrawling figures in the margins of newspapers. They remain together through a love of the mundane and a hatred of homosexuals.

By way of a shuddering noise, a message blips onto my mobile phone. Decisions and conclusions have been drawn. My walking on eggshells first thing in the morning disturbed dreams, but over the smokey purr of a brew, a form of compromise is proposed. The display screen of the electronic bus-stop suggests walking back home would make for a worse situation balance, but text message diplomacy suffices.

Scattering rain, cold wind, all noticed, but not for me the luxury of a shelter. The bus arrives with a drawl and sprayed water, bored. The only other passenger, driver aside, is a frothy skeleton of a cage-dancer, whose implied snobbery behind the eyes is as good a reason as ever why I have often toyed with the concept of banning homosexuality.