Wednesday, 6 February 2019
The Language of Love
He said, "It's a new couch. I made it myself!"
I humoured him and lay on the couch. It was a bit wobbly because it had one leg shorter than the others. So he put a book by some fellow called Freud under the short leg. I asked him, "This looks an important book. Are you sure it's OK to put it under the couch?"
"Oh it's boring," he replied, "full of words and no pictures at all!"
He sat on his chair beside the couch and opened his notebook.
"What seems to be the problem?" I asked him from my supine position.
"My wife doesn't understand me," he said wistfully.
"Is it a personal marital problem?" I enquired.
"No ..." he said, "she is Greek and does not understand a word of Austrian!"
"But the language of love is international," I said trying to sound knowledgeable in the affairs of the heart.
"Not when she feeds you moussaka every day," he answered sadly, "I told her I don't like aubergines but she does not seem to understand!"
I said nothing for a while and wondered how the two of them had met. I asked him and he replied, "I was in Athens on holiday and met her at a small taverna. She was the local wrestling champion. After the meal I inadvertently broke a plate and she took that as a sign of amourous intent. Before I could say moussaka we were married!"
"I understand ..." I said, more as a token of sympathy rather than comprehension.
"Oh ... for a plate of rindsuppe," he sighed, "or gulasch, followed by a big slice of apfelstrudel. But instead, it's moussaka every day!"
"But surely you can reason with her," I suggested.
"I do ..." he said, "but she always beats me at arm wrestling. So moussaka it is once more!"
At this point a large woman entered the room and spoke in a language I did not understand. It was all Greek to me. She had a Greek recipe book in her hand and showed my friend various delicacies such as stuffed vine leaves, youvarlakia, avgolemono and baklava. Before I could ask him what these foods were, he kissed his wife and the two of them left hurriedly the insulting room, leaving me lying down on the short-legged couch.
Ah ... the language of love!