Friday evening used to be the best part of the week. Now it is has become the worst.
Friday night used to be that magic time when the weekend had already started, but none if it was yet used up, so to speak. Two full days of potentially sleeping in lay ahead of us – not that I actually did much sleeping in; the early hours of Saturday morning when the wife was still asleep were my private time, and I used them to pursue hobbies that the wife lacked proper understanding for (okay, I watched science fiction movies. Sue me). The rest of the weekend was usually filled with activity, most of it dog related. Also there was a suspicious amount of shopping for clothes, because the wife hadn’t given up hope that she might make a respectable husband out of me if she could find just the right trousers. And finally a lot of time was expended on the horror to all loyal husbands, culture. It made me a better man, I suppose.
But at Friday evening there was none of that. Adventure is deviation from routine, and to make sure that we could have a bit of adventure now and then we saw to it that we had as much routine as possible. Friday evening was the perfect time for routine. Every other week we went out for dinner and drink (two large beer and a shot of liquor, half a litre of white wine for the wife), the other weeks I prepared something more elaborate than usual at home (also white wine and perhaps a little chocolate for dessert). Also we informed the dog at eight o’clock or thereabouts that she needed to go about her business with some alacrity because we surely as hell would not leave the house for the rest of the evening. Slightly inebriated we would turn in early, and with the dog on our feet and a good book (literally one, the one that Siobhan was reading – I would be simply glad to go to sleep) we had our little perfect paradise on earth. Those were wonderful times, but they are gone now.
Now Friday evenings have become the worst part of the week.
I don’t want to cry at work, and I certainly will not cry while standing at Siobhan’s bed. So now Friday evening is when I catch up with my crying – crying because suddenly the wife is not somebody I live together with, but somebody I go to visit; crying because I can talk to her, or about her, but no longer with her; and crying because my proud and independent wife has been reduced to someone other people take pity on.
Tomorrow I will carry on. If this Orpheus is to extricate his Eurydice from hell then it surely won’t be by looking back. But one evening per week I am allowed to collapse in a heap and cry.