Two men, two wives, six daughters between them. So in their conversation, a liberal sprinkling of domestic chit-chat – the kind you’d also imagine women having over a cuppa. Except that these were two old blokes who’d notched up a century of marriage between them.
And blokes talk about sport, who should have won the one day cricket final at Lords, politics – and of course the good old days. There’s a pause between all this chaff and then this:
“I suppose you must’ve been married for as long as we have then?” Ken asked.
“Bloody years mate” said Dave.
A chuckle, a sudden chill.
“Dunno what I’d do if she died” said Ken shaking his head. “I mean I can do toast and eggs and stuff but..”
Dave listened, stunned by his confession of frailty. He knew it had little to do with cooking, and everything to do with a future they faced if their wives died before them.
“I’d be lost too” he eventually confided to Ken. “Just empty. Can’t give my girls what she does”.
“Empty… yeah. That’s the word eh?” Ken said.
“But hold on Ken – we’re getting ahead of ourselves aren’t we? They’re not dead.”
“ Yeah/nah… I was just saying” said Ken.
“We’d go first anyway” said Ken.
“Course… anyway, whaddya reckon about the ABs this year?”
“We’ve got our boys back again Dave”.
“Wonder if Wallabies have tails?”
“Dunno” said Ken.
“Me neither, but I reckon they hopped on that plane home real fast eh?”
And there they were again – back in the safety of Blokedom. They left their favourite cafe nattering about League’s rotten refereeing decisions; unseeing cricket umpires. They chatted about the bloody awful weather outside. And as they did, they happily dispatched the thought of losing their wives, to the Siberia of their minds….
- (Names have been changed to protect their… um… masculinity).