Saturday 18th September 2010
One year ago.
“This fucking dishwasher!” Suse yells.
I look over at her, from my position folding laundry. We’ve had a really nice day, managing to keep ourselves busy. There has not been a moment of tension.
“The fucking dishwasher!” she yells again, kicking its scuff board hard.
“It won’t fucking start!” she yells. She kicks it again.
I see her open it, pressing buttons randomly, before slamming it closed again. Each time this doesn’t work, she lets out another shrill squeal.
“This fucking piece of shit!”
We have an Italian dishwasher. I got it second hand from a mate. It looks great, but it’s not very user friendly. It has eight buttons, with various uninterpretable symbols. It requires that you depress the two on the right simultaneously, before choosing one of the other settings, and then closing it tight to get it to start. If you don’t do it quite right, it doesn’t work.
If you’re flustered, you haven’t got a hope.
I look at Suse, depressing the buttons unevenly, slamming it shut, squealing, and then pulling it open again. Each time she does it with more force, each time throwing herself into it ever more.
“This,” she says, pointing, “is a fucking piece of shit!”
“It is an absolute piece of shit, Mark!”
“Settle down, Suse.”
“I’ll settle down when you get it to work, Mark,” she says menacingly. “Make it work, Mark!”
“Settle down, Suse.”
“Make it work! Make the fucking dishwasher work!”
“Give me a second,” I say.
I walk over and open it, depressing buttons. Suse leans her head over my shoulder, breathing fire.
“Can I have a moment?”
“I’m just watching to see what you do!”
I have a first go at it. It doesn’t work.
“Hang on, Suse. Just settle down!”
“I’ll settle down when that piece of shit works properly!” she yells, storming off down the hallway, “I can’t fucking take that piece of shit anymore! This is bullshit!” she screams. “I can’t take it!” she says, breaking into tears. She throws herself onto the bed.
“Calm down, Suse,” I yell. “Or you’ll lose the baby!” I say, more quietly.
The sobbing stops dead. I pause for a moment, opening and closing the thing to no avail. I walk down the hall and into the bedroom. Suse lies there, her arm up under her head, facing the mirror. I lie down beside her.
“Do you really think there’s a baby in there?” she whispers.
“I feel like shit, Mark. I feel constantly nauseated, and I’m totally knackered. This has got to be a baby, doesn’t it? It’s got to be. I can’t do this every month if this isn’t pregnancy.”
I touch her tummy, something I’ve been doing over the last few weeks. It settles her further.
“Is there a baby in there?”
“I don’t know,” I say.
We go quiet. Suse sniffs away snot. I keep my hand on her tummy.
“What’s she saying to you?”
“He likes the dishwasher.
“He does. So go easy on it.”
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