Tark and Mara who? I did warn you. Explanation here
In a universe not far from here, but somehow very like here, Tark was busy writing.
“Darling, what are you doing?” asked Mara, newly transplanted eyebrows furrowed in puzzlement and distrust. Her husband’s industrious expression was severely out of place in their six-bedroomed chrome-and-mirror penthouse.
Tark never did any work at home. Tark didn’t do any work at work. He had meetings with excitable people who usually opened nightclubs – eventually – and she knew their joint earnings had something vaguely to do with turning up at parties. Then she had her book deal, for pin money; that said, the last monthly royalty cheque for her most recent erotic gardener crime novel had been a paltry €70,000.
“I have taken on my own writing project,” said Tark, the tip of his tongue protruding from the corner of his oddly tiny mouth. Combined with the exceptional shininess of his bald head, he made a perfect emoticon. “Remember that blogger I mentioned –”
Mara, reclining artfully on the chaise longue last pictured beneath Oscar Wilde before all that unfortunate business, jerked her head out of its usual swooning position. She had made a career out of Understanding Her Man, and a change in creative divide in their relationship spelled trouble. She was the writer; Tark was supposed to be the bank.
“Who’s that, my love?” she asked with trepidation. “That person with the ridiculous name? Sparkling, or some such?”
“That common Irish person, yes,” said Tark. “She’s asked me to do a guest post on her blog. Apparently she’s caught up with some work thing. Imagine being a writer who has to have a day job!”
Mara reeled back in horror. “How terribly bourgeois! She must come from a very bad family.”
“I believe they’re from the country,” said Tark, wiping a fleck of disgust from his cheek.
Tark looked up at his wife with interest. “Why shouldn’t I blog, my precious stick insect? I have opinions. Everyone should hear them.”
“I know, my love, but there are some dreadful people out there who may not appreciate your genius, and besides, you were supposed to take me out; it’s Tuesday, and you know I always eat on a Tuesday,” said Mara sulkily. She didn’t like the idea of Tark moving in on her territory. Besides, she hated having a husband who was broadening his horizons. She was having a hard enough time keeping their spending up with their income as it was.
“Don’t be worried, my little sugar substitute,” said Tark, sonorously. “I’ll still have time for us. Blogging, after all, is the refuge of the untalented. 2,000 words should only take me 19 minutes.”
“I could have blogged, if you wanted,” said Mara, a plaintive note creeping into her erstwhile monotone. “I mean, I did read that article on results-driven trolling.”
“And you would have done it so much better than I could even dream of, mon petit boom-time relic,” said Tark, standing up to swoop a mollified Mara, feather-weight since puberty, into his arms. “But I would never ask you to stoop so low, darling. The day you find yourself blogging, is the day that our bank account dips below seven zeros.”
“Oh, Tark,” said Mara with a sigh. “You crack me up, really. If I were ever to laugh, I do believe you would be the only one to give me cause.”
[P.S. Happy birthday Tark. May you have lots to smile about today. x]