“Incommunicado” by Paul Groves

What sort of a marriage is this? She hasn’t
spoken to me all day. I’ve started to blame myself:
something I’ve said must be responsible for
those tears. And when I speak she doesn’t answer;
she just looks disconsolate. Her behaviour
is atypical, hard to fathom; for years
we’ve got on well, with few disputes. Then this.
And why does she put our displayed photographs
in a drawer, prepare lunch only for herself, pick
at her food like a lovesick teenager? I try
to cheer her, but she’s beyond reason, inarticulate,
inscrutable. This is ironic conduct for one
who spent time yesterday in church, though
what she was doing there—it being a Tuesday—
she has not said. “Look,” I say, “be reasonable.
Tell me what’s bothering you.” But she rises, without
answering, and walks through me to the kitchen.

“Incommunicado” by Paul Groves from Wowsers © Seren Books.

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