Or at least I think that's what she said.
No, I really do listen, except that the other night we were watching television when:
'Are you listening to me?'
'Of course, my linnet, my dove.' I turned to her while extracting her elbow from between my fourth and fifth rib.
'Well what did I say, then?'
And that was the problem. I've spent the last four months trying to form a cohesive end to my new novel The book Of Pain. It hasn't exactly consumed my every waking moment but after changing it from the fourth time, I was finally coming up with something that just might work. Unfortunately my beloved was also telling me, whilst watching a soap, and playing a computer game and regaling me with every detail of her day, in that beguiling but irritatingly fluent way women are able to do 1000000000000000000 things at the same time, while I usually content myself with trying to remember my name and where I live - but not at the same time.
'So can I?'
This was it. Should I admit it and feel the wrath of "She who must be obeyed?" or tell her that I could feel a coronary coming on and to be gentle with me. Then I began to feel my own justified anger. I had, after all, just worked for sixteen hours without a break. I turned, on the verge of reminding her of this with a self righteous sqwark when I remembered that she had, and habitually did work far more hours than I do.
'Yes, my darling. Of course. Go for it.'
She seemed satisfied, and now I'm wondering what addition I'm going to find to the family tomorrow - or conversely what subtraction. She's a dab hand with a carving knife.