On Wednesday I received a lovely bunch of beautiful red and orange roses delivered to the Peirene office. Peirene was thrilled. ‘It must be from a grateful author. How touching.’ She clapped into her hands with delight. In the meantime I had found the card. ‘From your loving husband.’ ‘From your husband!’ Peirene looked at me in surprise. ‘He never sends your flowers mid-week. The man has had an affair,’ she concluded and walked back to her desk. ‘I better stay out of this. But in case you find yourself busy with a divorce in the near future, don’t worry about me, I can run this office by myself.’
For a moment I reflected, then I texted. ‘Thank you… Who is she? One-night stand or affair?’ I thought, it’s better to put the cards on the table straight away rather than being drip fed painful reality over the coming weeks. His reply came straight away: ‘I knew you’d think that. Let me reassure you that I live like a monk when I’m travelling.’
My husband often works abroad. The idea of living like a monk, however, didn’t reassure me. As a child I spent my holidays with my grandmother who lived in a village with a medieval monastery. There is a tunnel that leads from the monks’ quarters to a well recorded brothel.
The phone rang. It was my husband. ‘I wanted to make your dream come true,’ he told me. Apparently, on Monday morning when he got up at 5am to catch a plane I had woken briefly and told him about a happy dream where he had sent me flowers. Then I went back to sleep. By the time the alarm rang for me at 6.30am I had forgotten everything.
‘Well, if your husband is such a wonderful magician who can make dreams come true, why don’t you tell him about my dream.’ Peirene’s joy over the flowers had clearly evaporated when she realized that they were neither from a grateful author nor would they lead to some office excitement involving affairs and divorces. ‘I dream that everyone who bought an e-book last month will like them so much that they take out a full-year subscription.’
Sadly, I had to remind the Nymph that my husband is only human and that if she wants her dream to come true, she might need to talk to the Greek gods.
Image by slgckgc.