The woman keeps on gently narrating until the man says, look, can you get to the point, I’m reading. The woman says, there doesn’t have to be a point – this is the way women walk in and out of rooms to each other, being each other’s flexible audience, offering the soothing acceptance that comes with the tennis game of no-pressure chat, that doesn’t need to go anywhere fast.
The man says, aye, but you’ve hit the ball over the net and are now glaring into the sunshine, wondering where it’s gone. Yes, laughs the woman. She has been here before. The man goes back to his tablet, reading aloud, When Kaiser’s Europe invaded France….
The woman goes off to have a shower, content that he is engrossed. She enjoys washing her hair and not being offended. She enjoys the laid-backness of the morning. Downstairs the boy child and the girl child sit in new Christmas dressing gowns watching Mickey Mouse Mouse-keteers, unaware that when they grow up they will have many Kaiser’s Europe versus Chat-for-the-sake-of-connecting chats. No one will win, and no one needs to either.