GRAHAM’S WIFE by Barry O’Farrell

“My Specialist said, “I’m going to schedule more tests for the end of next month. In the meantime, no sex, no masturbation, no heavy lifting.” “And I said,” as I looked around at my office co-workers, their spouses and partners, assembled in the private room our company had booked for Christmas drinks in the bar across the street, “That is what I do all day every day, sex, masturbation, heavy lifting. This describes my life. How is a man supposed to have any fun?”

Now you might say this is oversharing, especially at a company function. But after a drink, okay a few drinks, I speak only the truth.

My boss, Graham, has been known to take me aside and we have a chat about it. I have explained to him, yes, after a drink or two my mouth runs. This is the sort of stuff which comes out. It’s not like I’m giving away trade secrets or revealing our figures for the previous quarter or anything. It’s like locker room talk. You know the sort of stuff.

A few drinks later I notice her arrive. She is running late as usual which she thinks is her prerogative. I innocently ask her, “Excuse me. Are you Graham’s wife or are you Graham’s girlfriend? Oh what am I saying? What am I saying? I mean, how could I mistake you for her? I mean she is blond and good-looking and not like you. What am I saying? What am I saying?”

***

Graham’s wife moved back into their matrimonial home about three months later. Yes, it took that long for the mediators to calm both of them down.

Even then they continued to take advice from their lawyers regarding damage to property, including the neighbours’ properties, plus the random cars. You know what insurance companies are like. They denied liability for self-inflicted stuff from the day the claim form arrived.

Upon sober reflection, I have come to accept, this has got to be a lot of the reason why I didn’t get an invitation to the vacation in Hawaii the company arranged for this Summer.


Barry O’Farrell (@BarryO_Tweet) is an Australian actor who sometimes writes.

Barry’s stories have appeared in Cyclamens & Swords, The Flash Fiction Press, A Story In 100 Words, 101 Words, 50 Word Stories and of course here at The Dirty Pool.

One of Barry’s short stories was runner-up in the 2015 Arts Alliance competition.