I have a writing voice. It’s more staccato than my talking voice. More like a machine gun than a hose pipe. I write like that when I want to say things quickly but without using the niceties of long sentences and explanations. Married life is sometimes like a long explanation that no-one understands. Let me try to tell you about it in short words.
We’d had an argument. All our tiffs are about the same thing: nothing. Leastwise, that’s how it seems to me. One of us, usually me, says something curt and the other reacts. Then it escalates. Neither one of us is good at backing down or admitting that we might, just might, be even a teensy-weensy bit wrong. I know that I can stop the arguments dead by admitting that I am wrong, but I’m a bit of nutter when it comes to things like that. And besides, I’m not always wrong. In fact, neither of us is. In reality our life is a play put on by the gods to entertain themselves between bouts of gentle creation and gouts of destruction and fiery war.
So, yeah, like I said – we’d had an argument and it hadn’t ended well and so I stormed out of the house and into the car and roared off down the road to Tesco.
People in charge of huge chunks of metal on wheels should not get in them and roar off down the road when they’re in the grip of blinding rage. Nor should they decide to get petrol or anything thing else that involves being around people and inflammable liquids. But remember that I’m someone who can’t admit to being wrong and most of what follows will become absolutely explicable and not entirely uninteresting in that light.
There was one pump open and two cars gunning towards it. I’d got to the forecourt first and so it should have been my spot. He didn’t agree. I could tell he didn’t agree from the way he stuck the nose of his gas-guzzling, four-wheeled, ecology-damaging, global-warming, curse-word of a vehicle in front of my modestly proportioned car. Just looking at his face told me that he was insane. He was gesticulating with his hands elbows and fingers even as he steered his curse-word of a garbage-truck in front of mine, inching ever closer to the pump and further away from sanity. I was having none of it. Before he could react, I slammed my vehicle into reverse, screamed backwards at 666 mph whilst pulling my steering into full-lock. I watched his mouth fall open as he tracked my progress across the forecourt, too surprised to even move forward the couple of feet it would have taken to make his triumph complete. By the time he realised what I was up to, it was too late. For him.
My screeching, wild-eyed path, by the time I was done with a couple of breathtakingly beautiful hand-brake turns on the slippery tarmac of the petrol station, had taken me all the way around the petrol pump and slotted my car, steaming with pride and proprietary skill into the space next to the only free petrol pump, directly in front of my arch-enemy.
I got out, and gave him a cheery smile filled with love.
He got the hint, stabbed the air with a couple of cheeky fingers and exited the fray.
And the gods threw roses onto the stage whilst applauding and stamping their feet in wild and tumultuous abandon.