Mr FD: Tell me everything you know about giraffes.
FD: Giraffes? Am I still sleep? Giraffes have very long necks and very long tongues that are purple?
Mr FD: Tell me about their necks. How many bones do you think they have in their necks?
FD: Who does pop quizzes at 3 in the morning? They have lots?
Mr FD : Actually they have about the same number as you do, the bones are just very large. And their hearts? Tell me about their hearts.
FD: The heart must be very strong to pump the blood up their necks to their brains?
Mr FD: Correct! There was no mistaking the pride in his voice for his pupil. The values in their circulatory system regulates the flow of the blood so that it doesn’t rush back down their necks too fast, or soon.
FD: Of course.
Mr FD: That is enough facts about giraffes for now.
3:18 am Mr FD rolls over and falls happily to sleep. FD does not.
Augie Dog, who had previously been lying quietly by the bed, starts to become restless. FD draws the short end of the dog straw and rises to take Augie outside.
Standing at the open door, the frosty winter air hitting my face, I look out, worshipping the tall gum trees in our garden. Augie, behind me, appears hesitant to go outside. I turn to entreat him to go outside to “toilet”.
Augie looks up at me, as though he has just seen me for the first time. If a dog can recoil in horror, Augie does; for his expression if he had been an Aussie male would have been accompanied by the words “f**king, bloody, hell!” This was accompanied by my beloved pet sitting back on his hind quarters and performing a half spin backwards across the floor. He did not venture outside.
Returning to the bedroom, I glanced in the mirror. My hair was standing vertically upright, like short, grey soldiers on parade; the eyelid over my artificial eye only partially open. Even with no eye glasses, I knew what Augie had been communicating.
The authoritative male television newsreader’s voice reported, “…and this is Pope Francis’ first overseas trip since his latest encyclical…”
FD, in the kitchen : I had an encyclical once…
Mr FD from the next room : …but the wheels fell off it!
We’ve been married a very long time.