Everyone has their foible; some little quirk they’d rather keep to themselves if at all possible. In my case, I’ve managed to keep a major one of mine from my husband for eight whole years, then a little slip-up tonight let the cat out of the bag.
You see, I’m a frustrated, aspiring writer from a theatrical background and this combination has made for a tiny idiosyncrasy in my approach to how I write dialogue, which was witnessed tonight, for the first time, by my very sensible, non-writing, non-acting better half…
I was in the bath, you see. My bath time is my me time. I usually spend the time reading, but I can’t read while I’m washing my hair, so that’s when I specifically turn to various scenes from the novel that will one day work its way out of my head and onto the page. The weather was rather fine today, so I had the window open* and was working out a little dialogue between a couple of characters.
“Kell, why are you talking to yourself and making gestures with your hands?” came a voice out of nowhere.
I must add, here, that as I was washing my hair, I had taken off my glasses, and without my specs, I’m as blind as a bat! I thought Dale was standing at the bathroom door and tried to catch a glimpse of him in the bathroom mirror above the loo.
“And why are you trying to look towards the door?”
He was on the veranda! Having a cigarette!**
So, I had to explain to him that his wife wasn’t crazy*** and that I was writing my novel. When I write dialogue, whether or not I have pen and paper to hand, I have to act out the parts to make sure they sound right. Now, I was speaking the lines very quietly, so it must have sounded like I was muttering something under my breath, and with all the gestures, Dale could have been forgiven for thinking I was casting some terrible curse over the Noisy Bitch upstairs****.
The problem I now had was that my explanation sounded flustered and nervy as I hate being watched*****. And now Dale was having a right good laugh at my expense. He’s still laughing now and going on about me talking to invisible people. Of course, I just made it worse by saying, “They’re not invisible in my head – I know exactly what they look like!”
There’s nothing quite like making your other half realise he finally has proof that he married an utter loony.
Ha! He’ll be laughing on the other side of his face when I pen my best-seller!
* We’re in a first floor flat with the bathroom window opening onto our secluded veranda, so there was no danger of me being seen by anyone, or so I thought!
** He gave up smoking again a few weeks ago, but succumbed once more to the lure of the cancer stick a few days back and is not allowed to smoke in the flat or when he’s out with me.
*** Well, no more crazy than usual, anyway.
**** And, what with me being a Witch and all, that could be a reasonable assumption! Damn! I could have used that as my excuse and come across as at least being semi-sane!
***** I had a stalker at one point while I was in college. Fortunately, no restraining order was required to keep the nutter away from me – just two of my big, rugby-player mates from the Halls of Residence who didn’t even have to lay a finger on my would-be suitor. All they had to do, in the end, was look impressively large and use their excellent vocabularies to their fullest extent in describing exactly what could happen to someone who kept following their mate around once his advances had been spurned. See – brawn and brains in the same package! Those guys really were fabulous. And they were both big softies too.