‘…oh my … oh my …look at it!’
Everything else in the room is blurry, superfluous, irrelevant…
I am transfixed by its beauty.
My eyes are slowly enlarging trance-like as the thought of its sweetness causes the concave walls of my mouth to seep saliva uncontrollably, moistening the receptive surface of my anticipating tongue.
I don’t even bother sipping back the drool emerging from the corner of my mouth as I am alone in the kitchen and no one’s around to witness the embarrassment.
Yes, it’s the last piece, and you know how good that bit is – even more delicious and desirable because you’re getting it and others aren’t.
Look at it, right there before me – the last delectable piece of halva.
And what a sweet oasis this treasure is for a mind and body ravaged by the torture of two years abstinence from the cocoa bean (oh the agony of perpetual chocolate withdrawals), making the halva so much more sweeter.
Suddenly, as my fingers are about to caress the sweetness, a horrific pang ruthlessly accosts my consciousness, effectively halting and suspending my hand in mid grab.
‘Sure he’d like it,’ I rationalize to myself, ‘but it’s far too small to share, isn’t it! And he doesn’t even know it’s there, does he! So he wont know what he’s missing – ignorance is bliss and all that.’ as I reach again for the halva only to be thwarted by another cruel pang.
The torture of it all.
Then – Eureka!
Yes, an Oreo – it always works!
‘… emm… Sandy, ’ I call confidently from the kitchen in an effort to usurp a self righteous conscience, eyes still transfixed on the last piece of halva, ‘if you had your choice of an oreo or halva which one would you chose?’
‘Damn it!’ I curse as the reaching is rudely stopped in its track once again.
I’m not so easily defeated, though. ‘Sandy, whattabouta …”
‘She’s bloody back!!! announces Sandy loudly interrupting another alternative.
‘Who?’ I ask impatiently, quite irritated by the change of topic.
Yes, she’s back on our shores again, returned from across the seas.
Who, dear reader, you ask?
Why, Sandy’s ex, Joan, of course!’
Throughout history men have murdered, slaughtered and tortured each other because of their differences. However, since the Garden of Eden, there’s one universal bond between all men – even the fiercest of enemies.
Yes, – the ex!
Joan is responsible, according to Sandy, for the loss of hearing in his right ear, and just about every other problem in his life.
(Now, being an oatmeal savage, there’s precious little I do or can do to ever impress Sandy; however, there’s one exception. I always see a glint of admiration in his eyes whenever he mentions how remarkable it is that my hearing and all my other senses remain intact, considering the number of exes I have).
Excuse me for a moment, dear reader, I’ll get back to exes in a sec…
‘…emm… Sandy, wouldn’t you rather have Rocky Road ice cream than halva?’
‘Don’t you see how cold it is out there! I’m shivering at the very thought of ice cream…’
Ok, back to Sandy’s ex.
While there’s absolutely no doubt Joan’s responsible for his hearing loss and at least 96% of all impediments in his life – as are all exes (any thoughts to the contrary are grounds for immediate expulsion from the brotherhood of men), I must confess that Joan certainly hides her evil ways rather well.
In fact, to the casual observer or every woman, it looks like she’s actually doing good things for Sandy (but us dudes know better, this couldn’t possibly be the case – coz she’s an ex, isn’t she!)
Joan just camouflages her vindictiveness better. She is clearly an artist in the field.
(Take all my exes (please), they ain’t bothered ‘bout any camouflage – they’re right out front and centre with their evil ways).
Joan comes to the house regularly to do Sandy’s washing, change his sheets, clean his bedroom (which, if you know Sandy’s bedroom, is a particularly remarkable feat), clean and organize his living room, often cooking his dinner and lunch; she takes him to the doctor for check ups; she’s in clinics and hospitals for every blood and other test imaginable, waiting for hours on end; takes him for groceries and his lottery tickets; keeps him company when he’s alone, listening patiently to repeated stories she’s heard more than anyone else….
I know, Sandy, I know!
You poor guy - having to put up with all that abuse hiding behind such caring.
She’s a bad one, alright.
Yes, Joan’s way more devious than my exes.
Hold it, I’m so unfair to them.
One time, one of them actually made me a cup of tea (on second thoughts, I think I just dreamed it ).
And you can be sure my exes will be fighting each other to be the one who looks after me when I’m in my 80’s and suffering with Alzheimer’s – cleaning my room, doing my laundry, and making dinner for me…
And the meals will be just as good as the meals Joan makes for Sandy – ‘cept for the lil arsenic flavouring.
And what a lazy and selfish person Joan is, taking off to England like she did.
But I didn’t let her get away with it, did I!
Oh, no, I sent her an email making her feel real guilty about the trip.
Of course, she tried to get out of the embarrassment.
But I just laughed off the fact that she was there helping her oldest friend who she had known since they were together at boarding school at the age of 8. Her husband just had a triple bi pass and Joan was over there helping her friend who was having difficulty coping physically and emotionally.
And if she’s not doing all this nasty stuff across the ocean she’s over here caring for Sandy or wasting her time downtown volunteering at Cool Aid, helping the less fortunate.
Talk about a misspent time.
You know the kind – never outta pool halls when she was younger!
Oh, just a minute…
‘Sandy, you’d love a coupla double chocolate chip cookies, wouldn’t you!…’
‘Nope, I’d rather have the halva!
She’s a devious one alright.
And I’ve personally experienced it.
A few years ago, I directed ‘Lighthouse Skies’ – written and performed by Steve and Kristin. The problem about dealing with brilliant writing and actors is that such gifted individuals are usually … how shall we say… umm… temperamental?
Well, without exposing titillating production details ( to avoid slander suits) suffice it to say that if it were not for Joan, a rock of dependability in a sea of creative chaos, the play would have been known in the tabloids for its sensational production volatility rather than, as it was in the media – for its excellent acting and writing.
And, of course, Joan hid in the background after the play, leaving others to endure the hardships of success and plaudits.
There’s no end to her selfishness, is there!
And she’s always inconveniencing me. Like one time, when she was going out of her way to give me one of many rides, there she was apologizing for taking a detour to drop off some things, as she did weekly, to a Sidney couple in need.
When a new tenant in her building was diagnosed with cancer, who was the one there for her when her family was far away, and she had no one to care for her?
And when the stranger died shortly afterward, who looked after things and made funeral arrangements in the absence of her family? And, then, when the son arrived in town, who welcomed him, and took the time to find him a job in Victoria?
Yes, you’re right, it wasn’t me.
It’s one thing to help a stranger and her family with funeral arrangements but in light of the circumstances that preceded these events, her selfish altruism and fortitude is, to say the least, particularly remarkable.
Just a sec, though.
This one never fails.
‘Sandy, how about some ginger…?’
‘Nope. The Warden brought me a box of ginger chocolates this morning.’
Shortly before the stranger’s arrival in the building, Joan had just endured the most painful of all tragedies for a parent – the passing of a child.
Of all things in life, this is the most difficult experience for human beings to cope with. We are just not hardwired to deal with it. It goes against the natural order of things – children are supposed to die after a parent.
But this most tragic of events was compounded in Joan’s case.
For it was she who discovered the tragedy.
Did this mother have a complete breakdown, and become an emotional helpless wreck as most would?
Rather than burden others with her unbearable pain, anguish and heartache or crying on other’s shoulders, there was Joan helping with funeral arrangements and consoling family members and friends in their hour of grief.
Then, right after going through all of this, there she was – helping a virtual stranger and her family deal with death.
And why did it have to be Joan who was the one to find her own son?
Because week in week out it was Joan who visited her 40 year old schizophrenic son to help him through the extreme trials in his life.\The lady never thinks of burdening others with her emotional traumas but is always there for others in their time of need.
And why is this so?
Well, she’s English, isn’t she! And that kind of thing just isn’t done, is it. Just wouldn’t be proper, would it. … ‘nuff said.
Yaaay, Word of the Year for 2013 has been officially announced by the Oxford Dictionary – Selfie.
Joan, Sandy and folks like my mum – this older generation, are just a wee bit behind the times, y’know. Poor souls have no concept of the word.
They’ve no concept of being a ’selfie’ because they’re too busy sacrificing themselves for others – it’s not in their lexicon. A generation gap, if you will.
Hey!! Wait a minute!
What a load of bull!
That’s not fair to the Selfie generations!
For we’re always doing things for others (as long as there’s something in it for us, eh!
Ok, if this doesn’t work nothing will.
‘Sandy, surely you’d like a Tunnock’s caramel wafer biscuit? You love them!
‘Caramel wafer biscuit, eh? Should have said so in the first place! Ok, of course I do … ’
‘It’ll go great with the halva… if you can spare it!’
‘Awww … no… no … no…pleez Sandy, no… !
It’s ok … it’s ok … breathe … don’t worry, if I wait a few minutes he’ll probably forget what halva is – the joy of alzheimer’s, eh!
Ahha!… there is a Santa after all, woohooo!
Merry Christmas to me…
Merry Christmas to me…
Merry Christmas to me, myself and I.
(Now, Santa, about that other present I asked for Christmas …you know, the one about the exes?)