I have forgotten how to write I lamented silently. And then wondered for the umpteenth time why the elements had conspired to cause my Muse to send me to exile. I had no idea, none at all.
“I have no clue at all,” I sighed somewhat audibly.
“No?” exclaimed she.
My wife took me by surprise, I have to admit. Actually, now that I recount the conversation, I realize that I had committed a blunder at the very beginning. I had used my voice to express my thoughts. Thoughts need not be uttered with vociferation. At least my thoughts, not Mozart’s perhaps. But, as I said, I had enjoined my brain waves with my vocal chords. And forgotten all about the faux pas. Hence the confabulation that followed.
“No?” I fumbled, in response to what I mistook to be an unprovoked utterance on the part of my wife. “I mean what are you referring to?”
“I have no clue at all.” A clear soprano confronted me. Well, I have to admit that I wasn’t exactly sure if it was a flawless soprano, which Wikipedia identifies as lying between 261 Hz and 880 Hz, and I don’t know even vaguely what that means. But I am sure that I heard the words clearly.
“How do you mean?” I asked therefore. It’s best to leave as few controversies to vagueness as possible. I can’t recall the person from whom I inherited this piece of questionable wisdom. Disappearing behind a curtain of vagueness is also known to be a potent weapon to save oneself from embarrassment.
“I meant whatever you had said when you said whatever it is that you said.” Clear sharp answer.
You see, age has done things to my comprehension and it took me a good deal of mental struggle to simplify the somewhat compound sentence she had employed to refer to whatever I had said when I said whatever I had said. I failed of course.
So, I asked her, “Whatever did I say when I said whatever I said?”
She replied, “I have no clue at all!”
“But didn’t you claim only a second ago that there indeed was a whatever that I had said and that I did say it when I said it?” I shed a tear or two this time.
“Of course I did,” said she.
I was at my wit’s end now. Blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and all the other things that conspire to make doctors examine your lipid profile or whatever, were rising.
It was clearly time for me to give up. So, I didn’t give up.
Instead, I said, “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly …”
It had the intended effect. Her confidence had received a jolt. There was a flustered look on her otherwise pretty face.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she demanded.
I tried to explain as best as I could. “It’s advisable to finish off unpleasant things with alacrity. Dilly dallying doesn’t help.”
“What unpleasant thing?” she asked suspiciously, her left hand surreptitiously searching for a blunt weapon I thought, should emergencies arise.
“Such as murder,” I explained. That’s what Macbeth had observed prior to killing Duncan.
“I knew, I knew …” she thundered this time, flourishing a rolling pin in her left hand.
“You knew what?” I said more than sheepishly now, swiftly taking cover under the dining table.
“I knew you were planning to murder me and that’s exactly what you were mumbling to yourself.”
“Mumbling to myself?” I bewailed hidden from her line of vision and ended up finally with a hesitant “What?”
“I don’t have a clue,” she wailed now hurling the rolling pin towards the object hiding under the table. The target was missed, for I heard the noise of splintered glass.
And in the meantime I keep wondering, still sitting under the table, why it is that I have forgotten to write.
I really don’t have a clue.