Stan was happy for a few moments when he woke up.Then he realized Emile
was not anywhere to be seen.Mary,his wife, had already gone out as she wanted to catch a very early train to London.She needed to visit the British Library.She urgently wanted to find evidence that Wittgenstein wore a hat in bed as this was an important idea in her new study “Wittgenstein ,guilt and hats.. a new theory”
Stan went searching around the house but Emile had vanished.Usually at 8 am he would be dashing about pretending to chase flies and giving a balletic performance worthy of Sadler’s Wells…
I wonder who Sadler was,Stan muttered as he filled the kettle with fresh cold water and put some Earl Grey tea into the teapot.
Then, a strange,uncanny feeling came over him.He looked up and there was Emile crouched on top of the highest cupboard in the kitchen.
Emile,he cried,What are you doing up there?
I’m training to be a spy,Emile replied nonchalantly.
But how could this kitchen be of interest to the Intelligence Services?
Well,the cat murmured,I am practising hiding.Hiding is very useful.
You gave me a terrible shock,Stan said.I had this feeling I was being watched.I wondered if it was paranoia.Then I saw your gleaming eyes.
So,I need to get some dark glasses,Emile whispered.
No,I would still feel that horrible feeling…. someone is staring at me.And how were you planning to get down from that high ledge?
I’m not sure,the cat mioawed faintly
Well,the first lesson for a spy or even a detective is,
Never go anywhere unless you can make a quick exit,
As it is,I may have to ring 999.
Just then the front doorbell rang.There stood a man with a white beard and moustache.
Hello,he said holding out his hand in a pleasant manner to shake Stan’s. hand
I am called Peter Fried.I have just moved into one of the new flats across the road.I am a psychoanalyst.I have taken on another flat to use as a consulting room and a waiting room
A psychoanalyst! Do we need one round here? Well,Good morning,I have just brewed some tea.Would you like to join me?
How kind,said Peter.
I say,old bean,did you know there’s a cat on top of your cupboard?
Yes,that is Emile.Today he has surpassed himself in wickedness.How I will get him down I don’t know.
My training analyst used to say,What goes up must eventually come down.
That seems a bit weird for an analyst.To what was he referring… something to do with sex I don’t doubt.It’s all sex with you people.
Yes, some of us are very peculiar…that’s why we enter the profession.
What I meant was,if Emile got up he can get down.How did you get up,Emile?
I leaped,answered the tense animal.
Can you leap down?
I’ve lost my nerve,replied the poor creature pathetically
Well, as it happens,being a therapist,I always carry few spare nerves with me.I’ll climb up this stepladder and throw you a new nerve.
And without waiting,Peter climbed the ladder.He put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a golden thread.
Here you are,Emile,Catch this in your claw.
Emile caught the golden thread and wrapped it around his neck.
Can you leap down now? enquired Stan.
Emile leaped down and landed with a splash in a bowl of hot soapy water in the sink.
It’s a good thing I wasn’t making chips,laughed Stan anxiously
Come here,Emile and let me dry you on this old towel.He put Emile
in front of the fire and he and Peter drank mugs of Earl Grey tea.
I have got a mistress,Stan told Peter.
Why tell me? Do you want therapy for your inner conflicts?
Oh,no.I’m far too old for therapy or indeed for a mistress.I was wondering of you would perhaps be interested …she just likes to spend a little time with an intriguing man.. talking, drawing graphs, interpreting data,making tea,calling the ambulance.. you know…she is most charming and intelligent company. When I give lectures on Statistics and Modern society she organises all the rooms and the chairs and so on..She likes our paramedic,Dave.and is always sending for him to mend chairs and open tins.
Is she not married?
No,her husband fell into the wheelie bin during the night and alas he was taken away with the rubbish.
That is a strange story.Are you certain it happened?
No,it could be he grew tired of her and ran away.Then she invented this story,
Well,this may be a quiet suburb but I can see there is plenty of material here for me to write my next book:
“Deceptive appearances and the fascination of apparent dullness.”
Oh,that sounds very unusual….please lend me a copy.
Well,I’ve never believed in true dullness.There is always a story hidden in every house and home.
See,I’ve just met you a man of 98 yet you have a wife, a mistress and a crazy cat.. and I’ve only been here for one day.Imagine what else I may discover here. after a few weeks
They heard a siren.
Oh,no!We’ve not even rung 999 and here is the ambulance…. Mary will be so angry..You see Dave is bisexual.
My goodness,are you having an affair with him. as well?
No way,shouted Stan.My life is tough enough already.He can be bisexual or even trisexual but I’m not interested.
What does trisexual mean,enquired Emile.
I have no idea but I thought it sounded good,admitted Stan.
Peter stood up.
I think I’d better go home and start to see my patients.It may calm me down.
Now .goodbye,Emile,Put your nerve somewhere safe.We don’t want you to lose it again.
Thank you,darling cried Emile.I think I’ve formed an erotic transference with you already.
Peter rushed out in terror.
Is it me or is it them?he wondered.
I thought it would be quiet here on the edge of Knittingham but I think now wherever you are there will always be something unexpected happening.But I hope Emile will not begin to follow me around.I shall have to buy a lady cat and then Emile might fall in love with her instead.So off Peter went whistling a Bach cello suite and wondering how to cope with life in a suburb.. clearly it was not as dull as he had imagined.Dullness… does it exist or was it merely invented?