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U3A Writing: Listening

Zelda Margo tells a tale of a husband who does not listen.

Gail, fluttering lashes, cascading hair, bouncy bosoms, after eighteen months of marriage to Edwin, a real hunk and according to the women’s magazine, plenty of satisfactory sex, should not be feeling so hurt and resentful.

““Edwin, I must tell you what happened…”

“Just a moment, Gail. I want to see him kick this goal”.

“Edwin, when you don’t listen to me I experience it as rejection”.

“Mmmm. Yes. Sure.”

“Edwin, what did I say?”

“Did you see that tackle?”

She was dying to talk to him, but it was always the newspaper or a pack of men chasing a ball on television that had him riveted.

How could he know her needs, desires, hang-ups if he never listened? To her he always seemed to be in a shell of indifference.

“Edwin, you cut me off before I finish speaking. Do you know what that does to me?”

“Gail, do you realise how much you talk? Jabber, jabber, jabber, all the time”.

She was haunted by her memories of her childhood. Her parents always too busy or distracted, and her overwhelming feeling of rejection.

“O.K. Edwin, I’ll not try so hard to communicate. To you I’m just jabbering.’’

“Gail, remember Kalil Gibran? ‘Let there be space in your togetherness’”

“Edwin, please listen. It’s all space. I’m lost and lonely. There is a basic need to be correctly heard.”

“Of course, but it’s News time, please turn on the radio”.

Edwin knew that utopia was a fantasy and not to be expected in marriage. However, Gail’s need for him to enter her world of perception, looking to him to fill a void in her life was something he could not and would not do.


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