Peter Fried,the psychoanalyst newly arrived in Knittingham, had noticed that whilst he was practising “free floating attention”
with his patients an image of a cat peering in the window behind the couch was troubling him.He hoped it was not some hallucination transferred from the Unconscious of one of his patients into his consciousness.
Still,having a black cat looking in the window was by no means the most unpleasant optical illusion he had ever suffered.In a way,it was quite sweet.
He was back in his “home” flat boiling some eggs for his supper when the doorbell rang.He opened it cautiously with a sort of furtive excitement.There stood a strikingly attractive woman wearing a purple coat and a red hat with matching red ballet flats and a bright green designer handbag from TKMaxx.[£29.99 and well worth it]
Hello,I thought I’d introduce myself,I live across the street next door to Stan and Mary..my name is Anne..How are you settling in?
She walked confidently through his flat and into the new teak kitchen with its gleaming work surfaces and marble pastry rolling strip…. though Peter never made pastry himself.
Eggs!Are you a curry lover?By pure chance and serendipity I have a tin of vindaloo sauce here.I could pour it over these eggs.
Should we not remove the shells first?Peter asked with a just hint of humour.
Definitely,leave it to me.I’ve brought some naan bread and some brown rice too
How did you know I was boiling six eggs?
Why Emile told me,of course!
Emile….is he black?
Some people call him black,others say he’s mixed race.
Let’s not argue about semantics,he replied discourteously.
I don’t even know what semantics, are she screeched into his left ear.
Well,that is no barrier to arguing about them,he replied diplomatically.
Well,it’s senseless, she answered kindly.”I am not a person who enjoys an argument.Go and sit down,read the paper and I’ll finish preparing the curry dinner.
Is it common around here to have an unknown woman come in to cook your dinner?Peter asked Anne.
No,it’s the height of sophistication,she said judiciously.
It’s just with you being new I wanted to meet you to see if you need any assistance in your work.I don’t need money,I like to serve the community in some way.Of course I am Stan’s mistress but as he’s in a bad temper today I’ve not seen him.I suspect he is growing tired of me.
Are you married,Peter asked her.
No,but I was once.My husband ran off with his brother’s wife,so we decided to pretend they were both dead.
That’s intriguing,said Peter,I am married but my wife developed an allergy to my skin.She could not bear to touch it so it became awkward… very awkward.
Fancy, and you a therapist too,she murmured softly,So where is she now?
Oh, she lives on the Isle of Man,near Peel.I do go to see her now and then… and there are lovely sunsets over there… you can see the Mountains of Mourne.
Are you lonely, she asked him very emotionally.
No,I see seven patients a day..
But that’s not the same as having a wife or a friend.
Since my wife’s allergy,I am afraid to touch another woman.
How sad,cried Anne…I have very thick skin.Would you like to touch me? she said seductively
Perhaps another time,Peter said in a kindly way,But thanks for being so generous.I am touched by your amiability and femininity and your
kindness in introducing yourself.
Let’s eat the curry before we die of hunger.
They sat down at the kitchen table to eat the egg curry when they saw some amber eyes gleaming at the window.
Oh, dear,There’s Emile again.
Will he tell Stan?
Probably,but actually Stan no longer wants me.Yet Emile adores me.He will be jealous… he’s a cat,but he has the feeling of a man.
And indeed Emile’s eyes were gleaming like those of a tiger… he began to speak through the window glass.
Would you mind if I had some curry?Stan never makes it… I love spices
Why not? said Peter.
Emil’s plan was to get near Anne but first he had to eat the vindaloo egg curry.He took a mouthful..my,it was hot.His eyes began to water and his nose ran…. all round the room.He mioawed piteously
I need a hanky.
We shall have to ring 999,muttered Anne.
What! Do they tend to cats?
They usually have some hankies for cats….
So without any further ado,she took out her Samsung mobile phone and rang.
I don’t know how I shall get on living here,thought Peter.
He ran across the room and jumped into the washing machine with the tea towels and kitchen cloths.
Will he escape?
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