‘Do you love your husband?’ he asked when they lit their postquam fags. When Victor came home for lunch, his mother had gone shopping already, as usual. He put on the kettle, made himself a toast and sat down at the kitchen table where he spotted a letter from Cambridge. George Martin had finished work and went straight to his latest flame. She expected him in her new lingerie, and after he had given her Lethe´s Kiss, she volunteered to try something new. Afterwards, when she was able to articulate herself again, she panted, ‘We should do that more often, really. Did you ever do that with your wife?’ That evening the whole family sat in front of the television.
Nothing struck anybody as particular this day. Grace cleared the table after breakfast and switched on the dish washer, the washing machine and the television. She finished the first box of biscuits within ten minutes and got herself a second one.
Emmerdale was already over and Home and Away interrupted for the commercials. Grace looked at the watch; the post was late today. When Glenroe started, she really got nervous. He´s never been that late before, she thought. What could have happened to him?
For a moment she considered getting dressed already, but then she decided to wait till the end of Glenroe.
Finally the bell rang, and she ran to the door.
‘Special delivery for Grace Martin!’
The postman waved a large envelope addressed to her neighbour at her. She dragged him in and slammed the door shut while he tore off her dressing gown under which she only wore her riding boots.
‘We´ve never done it on the staircase,’ he winked.
‘Well, there´s a first time for everything,’ she replied and spread-eagled herself on the steps as he took off his uniform.
‘We don´t marry for love, we marry for social security.’
‘And did you ever think of leaving your husband if you could stay socially secure?’
‘Well, if he were a Rockefeller, I wouldn´t hesitate. But, as much as I´d love to live with you, you´ll never be able to offer me the same lifestyle as a sales manager.’
‘Probably not, but what if you could live with me and still get your husband´s money?’
‘And how would you manage that, pray tell!’
‘Your husband is cheating on you! I´ve seen that unfaithful bastard with a middle-aged brunette in McDermot´s yesterday. They left together, and I followed them at a safe distance. They went to her house in the country, and as they had left the windows open, I know for certain that they´re having an affair. For that, you could get a divorce and put all the blame on him. He´ll have to pay his wages to you for the rest of his miserable life, and you´ll be free to see whomever you like.’
‘That sounds very tempting,’ she replied thoughtfully. ‘And you´d still get me dresses and jewellery...’
‘Anything you want, darling,’ he answered with a victorious smile. ‘You know I couldn´t refuse anything that makes you happy.’
‘I know,’ she said and kissed him on the cheek.
After they got dressed, he reached once more into his bag. ‘By the way, there is some post - a letter for your son from England.’
‘Thank you,’ said Grace. ‘This has been a very special delivery indeed!’
He couldn´t think of anyone he knew in Cambridge safe the professor who had visited his college a few weeks ago. The old man had talked about Nietzsche whom he regarded as a teacher, a guru who showed the way, and in particular about Zarathustra as a type of superman whom every intellectual should try to follow. Victor, very fond of Nietzsche himself, contradicted him and claimed that Zarathustra taught his disciples to find their own way, to be individual and not to let anyone - including Zarathustra himself - tell them what is right or wrong; ‘this,’ he had concluded his statement, ‘is the reason he sent them away!’
The time that had been planned for a discussion with the class had been completely absorbed by the argument between him and the professor, and Victor even remembered the old man calling him stupid - indirectly, of course. He was a master at using foul language without using foul words.
And now he had written to Victor - pointing out that he still had the same opinion, but that he´d been majorly impressed by his personal interpretation of the book and the way he had stood up for himself, and in conclusion he offered Victor a scholarship for Cambridge.
He was stunned - this scholarship gave him the opportunity to get out of his narrow-minded village and his rotten family: it offered him the start to a new and promising life.
‘Is there anything you always wanted to do and never did?’ she asked him.
He got up, laid on top of her and whispered the answer into her ear.
She blushed. ‘I never even thought of that,’ she replied. ‘But it sounds very kinky, nonetheless.’
‘My wife seems to be frigid,’ George replied resigningly. ‘She appeared very sensual before the wedding, but since then her only interest has been in my wages.’
‘I married my husband because of his money as well, but he´s dead now, and I have all his millions and can afford any man I want to have. I´d even share my wealth with a good lover, and I could easily pay your wife for the loss of her income source. Wouldn´t you like to get a divorce and marry me?’
George thought for a second. ‘That sounds like the best offer I ever got,’ he replied. ‘Let me sleep over it, and I´ll give you my answer tomorrow.’
George zapped through the programmes without finding anything that could have caught their attention.
‘It would be nice to leave this place,’ Grace thought. ‘I´d love to be with a man I love, but then - who knows what would expect me if I lived with someone else?’
‘The scholarship is a great opportunity,’ Victor thought. ‘I´d be able to get away from my deranged friends and my rotten parents - but then, who knows what type of people I´m going to meet in Cambridge?’
‘I wouldn´t have to work any more,’ George thought. ‘I could make love all day and spend all the money I want - but then, what if she lays eyes on someone else and dumps me?’
He continued zapping and got into a performance of Hamlet.
‘... that makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of...’
He switched to the next channel.
‘Do you love your husband?’ he asked when they lit their postquam fags.
When Victor came home for lunch, his mother had gone shopping already, as usual. He put on the kettle, made himself a toast and sat down at the kitchen table where he spotted a letter from Cambridge.
George Martin had finished work and went straight to his latest flame. She expected him in her new lingerie, and after he had given her Lethe´s Kiss, she volunteered to try something new.
Afterwards, when she was able to articulate herself again, she panted, ‘We should do that more often, really. Did you ever do that with your wife?’
That evening the whole family sat in front of the television.