Does your partner do something that drives you insane?
By partner, I mean wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, goat or inflatable doll [I’m broad minded].
Do they whistle tunelessly through their teeth?
Do they pick their nose and then flick the bogie so it sticks to the middle of the television screen?
Do they decorate your bathroom with their underwear so you can’t even reach the bath, let alone the shower?
Do they slurp their soup?
Do they insist on talking about nothing all the way through that programme you have been waiting to watch, while you have to sit in stony silence through all their crap programmes?
Do they insist on leaving their muddy wellingtons in the middle of the doorway so you keep tripping over them?
Anyone who has ever lived with anyone else will know what I mean. What starts off a an endearing little habit, over the years become something so fucking irritating that you find yourself doing an interweb search – “murder extenuating circumstances”. That amusing little foible has reached epic proportions of irritability that you really and truly worry about your own sanity.
But just stop for a moment and think.
If you find yourself once more on your own?
The silence is so profound you ache for that tuneless whistle.
You miss that little blob on the middle of the television screen as the programmes don’t look right without it.
You throw your own underwear around the bathroom as a bare bathroom somehow just looks wrong.
You will wish for that melodic sound of slurping soup.
You stop watching those programmes because they are no fun on their own and anyway you miss the running commentary about Whatshisname the actor who is married to Yer Wan who used to be in some soap opera or other and what the hell was her name anyway?
You keep falling through the kitchen door because you have braced yourself for the wellingtons, but they are not there any more.
The time may come when you would give your right arm, your eye teeth and in fact all your limbs just to have those irritations back. Because lack of irritation reminds you of a lack of partner.
There is a lot worse than an irritating habit.
Such as silence.