Yesterday at the Tip Recycle Shop, M found some apparently excellent wood. In putting it in the van, a large lump of last weekends excellent wood discovery fell on his toe. It doesn’t seem to be broken, but looks like a sad pork sausage. It got cut as well, so he has been diligently taping it with elastoplast to keep it clean and make his shoes bearable. Today we headed, at 8am, to the market to buy cheap vegies to get us through the week. Also on the list were some flannel pjs for M, who has finally started to feel the cold that has been taunting me since my return. Only about five stalls inside the gates were some wondrous flannel pjs.
“I’m six foot two,” said M proudly to the older woman whose stall it was, “d’you think they’ll fit me?”
“How tall was he?” I asked at the same time, slightly less diplomatically.
“Oh, he was six foot two as well,” she said, “they should fit you.”
M held a pair up to himself. They looked like they might fit. The woman seized the moment.
“Tell you what, I’ll give you the three pairs for five dollars.”
M beamed and examined himself while holding up another pair, thus missing the end of her sentence…”I just don’t want to take them home.”
She gave me a look that said either my-husband-of-forty-years-
died-last-month-and-selling-his-clothes-makes-me-want-to-die-too or my-husband-of-forty-years-left-me-last-month-for-the-slapper
-were-in-the-wash-at-the-time. I looked at her.
I think it was the former. I was brisk.
“Grab them,” I instructed M, “they were on our shopping list.”
So, upon leaving the market with vegies, sailing books, Patrick White’s biography, some discs for the grinder and some passionfruit, we had three pairs of tall blokes flannel pajamas.
A few minutes ago, M, who had completed his toe elastoplasting before retiring, came to say goodnight (I am ensconced in the lounge chair writing a website review due yesterday). As he lent over me, I sweetly requested that he remove the half a dozen or so old elastoplasts that were clugged together in the chest pocket of his new pjs. He looked down at them, looked at his toe and turned a pale puce.
“They’re not mine.”
I started to laugh hysterically, making all the crickets stop.
M started doing a small dance of horror.
“Get them out, take them out, get them out!”
“They’re dead-man band aids. You’ve got dead-man band aids in your pocket! Euhyewwwww!”
M ran from the room, divesting himself of the now tainted pajama top, reappearing, moments later, in different, but elastoplast free, dead-man flannel.
“I don’t feel happy anymore,” he stated pathetically, “and anyway, I don’t think he died. I think he left her. Definitely.”
And then in a smaller voice;
“Do you think she washed them?”