Well a hard headed woman,
a soft hearted man
been the cause of trouble
ever since the world began.
Oh yeah, ever since the world began
He listens to Elvis with half an ear as he finishes the last few pages. He'd felt worried when his wife told him he should read it. The Fay Weldon, last year... that had left him feeling disquieted. But this one was different. He wonders if Margaret is a lady or a woman or a babe. He guesses he'd better call her a woman. Privately, though, he's decided she's a babe.
What was that thing Jack Nicholson once said? Women know there's only twelve kinds of men in the world, and they get a bit tired of it. I know that because I'm the kind they tell things to. He'd found that pretty funny. He knows what women think of men. Most of Margaret's sly criticisms are familiar, and sometimes they sting a little. He makes promises, and doesn't keep them. He won't admit that he lets his wife take care of the dirty jobs. He wants sex when he shouldn't, and then he doesn't want it when he should. But there's a goodnatured edge to her teasing. He can recognize the real danger signals; this is no more than threat level orange.
I heard about a king
who was doin' swell
till he started playing
with that evil Jezebel
The one Margaret really hates is Jezebel, not the men. Though at the same time she wishes she could be her, just for five minutes. That's familiar too. He knew immediately who Zenia reminds him of, and he also knew she reminded his wife of the same person. And what was the ending about?
He suddenly notices that she's looking at him.
"Did you like it, hon?"
He collects his thoughts.
"It, ah, it spoke to me."
He was trying for ironic, but to his surprise he finds that he means it. She smiles, and turns up the music.
"I always thought this was a great track. Let's dance."
She pulls him out of the chair, and he knows that, just now, everything is alright.