“You know you’re an artiste,” James says watching me trim some leaves from a New Zealand flax. He’s an ex-cop, he says his wife has a fit when she sees him with a clipper in his hand. Not without reason. He cut the rosemary in the back yard by two-thirds, and when his wife objected, he assured her it would grow back better than ever. Oops. No sign of new growth on the naked twigs.
I don’t know how to respond. Artiste. It’s a fey word, half complement, half put down. Not quite an artist. Mostly I take it as an complement. I’d bet my birthright James has never called anyone an artist, unless it was a con artist.
When his wife gets on the plane to Spain, which she’s planning on doing soon, he’s going to rip out that sucker. Why will he wait until she’s on the plane? She’ll be back in a few weeks and she’s bound to notice. I don’t ask. I’m an artiste, not a couples’ counsellor.
More evidence of artiste-ery.
I’ve run out of tiles. Madness ebbs.