“Where’s the apple slicer?”
It was a simple question, but it only seemed so.
Nothing around here is simple and behind even the most bland domestic utterance, lurks the specter of a potential squabble and who can resist that?
“What do you mean ‘the’?”
“You said ‘the’.”
She looked confused. “I still don’t get it.”
“The word ‘the’ implies a specific apple slicer, we have seven of them. Which one is ‘the’ one?”
“We don’t have seven.”
“Why do you always exaggerate?”
I do exaggerate and I am not sure why. Perhaps I find that life lacks flair and therefore can’t resist the urge to add a little color, so I exaggerate.
Maybe it is not life that lacks color, rather it is me and my aging eyes that fails to see the vibrancy that I once saw as a child, so I make up for it with words.
Without magic, life is to be endured, not lived and I prefer things lively.
It drives my wife nuts.
By nature, she is not prone to exaggeration. By profession, she is even less so. She is an accountant and there is something about accountancy that demands literalness almost to the point of pain.
I once worked with a gentleman who was so literal that he drove everyone to distraction. One day, a colleague who was struggling to get a clear, unqualified description out of him, pointed out the window and in pure exasperation asked, “See that tree out there? What color is it?”
“Green…,” the accountant replied, but then he stopped to reconsider.
“On this side,” he added.
While his world is most certainly accurate, it lacks magic.
And maybe that explains a few things, because there is so much in life that sucks the magic out of living.
Sometimes I think life itself does that.
I blame it on familiarity. It is the corrosive force that can erode the miraculous until it is duller than ditch water.
The only antidote is to keep the magic alive by playing little tricks of imagination.
It is one reason my wife keeps me around.
“So you think I am exaggerating,” I say.
“I do,” she says.
I reach into the junk drawer and draw out an apple slicer. I find two more in the utensil drawer and one hiding behind the blender. Another is found among the pots and pans and yet another is lurking among the sandwich bags and aluminum foil.
“One.. two.. three.. four.. five.. six..” she counts. “You said seven. See? You exaggerated.”
“I guess I did.”
“You ALWAYS do.”