On And On

My wife does go on. She never bloody stops. From morning to night she never stops for a minute. Half the time I don't know what she finds to talk about. Sometimes it's the neighbours and how they play their stereo too loud at night. Admittedly it does get noisy sometimes but not enough to warrant the attention my wife gives it. If it's not the neighbours then it's the woman across the road. Her husband died three weeks ago you see and already another bloke has moved in. Not that it matters to anyone else but my wife doesn't approve of things like that. She says it's immoral. I would tell her that it's none of her business but she'd only start another row and I hate rowing. That's why most of the time I just sit and listen to her endless ramblings or, when it gets too much, I go out into the garden. I mow the lawn twice a week and I weed the flower beds every day when I get home from work. I also have a large vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden behind a privet hedge, which supplies us with adequate amounts of peas, beans and other simple things. I love my garden and I love my wife too. It's just her incessant moaning that irritates me. Sometimes I feel like hitting her but I know that wouldn't work because she would only carry on about me being cruel to her. My friends say that I should leave her, but I don't want to leave her. I just wish she would stop talking so much.

Even when I get home from work, as soon as I get through the door she is telling me about Mrs. Davies next door who has had a hysterectomy. Or about the filth in the newspapers. She has suggested me cancelling our daily newspaper because it has photos of topless girls in it. She thinks that I fantasize about them and that I compare them to her. To tell you the truth, that thought has never even crossed my mind. I love my wife you see, I just wish she wouldn't go on.

We've been married for six years and, since then she has gone from bad to worse. She worries about her figure and she worries about getting wrinkles (although she is only twenty eight) but most of all she worries that I am going to run off with someone else. I re-assure her all the time that I won't but she still won't believe me. Sometimes I wish she would never speak again. Just to have her around the house would be enough for me. Because I love her you see and hate her nagging and chattering. If only she could see what she is doing to me she would stop. I spend more time in the garden now on summer nights but, she comes down to where I am pruning my rose bushes or watering my azaleas and tells me that I don't spend enough time with her and that I care more for my garden than I do for her.

I wonder how much more I can stand.

I have read about men who have killed their wives because they nagged them too much but I would never do anything like that because I love my wife and I would not want to live without her but, she does go on and on and, just lately things are getting unbearable. I would talk to her about it but she doesn't like to discuss her own faults. Sometimes I wonder if I am being selfish but, surely, a man has some right to a little peace and quiet in his own home?

I worked late the other night and, when I got home, my wife started on about me seeing another woman. She is jealous too, you see. I tried to explain but she wouldn't listen. It was a warm evening so I went to my shed and retrieved some tools with the attention of doing a little gardening. I reasoned that if I was out of the house, she couldn't keep on at me. But, as I was pruning my roses, she opened the kitchen window and began shouting down the garden that I had been unfaithful to her. There were other people outside and they began to listen to my wife shouting. Now, I am a patient man but I dislike being humiliated in public.

In my view, I think that I was perfectly justified in going into the house and shutting my wife up. She does go too far at times. I love her deeply but I hate her nagging.

That incident happened two weeks ago and since then she has been a different woman. She does not nag me or go on and on. Our life together has become peaceful, sedate even.

I can hear her knocking now. She wants her dinner. I usually take it up to her about seven, but I am late tonight. I will apologise when I take her meal to her and she will understand. At least she will not nag me about it. Not anymore, because you see, even a patient man can only take so much and that night when shouted at me for all to hear, I knew I had reached the end of my tether. I knew as I walked towards the house that something must be done. As I walked into the kitchen, with the secateurs in my hand, I realised that she must learn her lesson once and for all.

She is knocking again. I am coming my darling. You see, I do love my wife, that is why I mash all her food up before giving it to her. I take great care to do that so that there is not one single lump in it. She finds it difficult to eat now, but she does not complain.

She has not complained once since that night two weeks ago when I took my secateurs and cut out her tongue.

© Shaun Hutson