Some things just stay with you, don’t they?
Memories, I mean.
I don’t wear headphones much.
But whenever I do.
I am reminded of a relationship I had 30 years ago.
I was 21.
She was 31.
And Julie was going through a divorce.
Julie was going through a divorce because of headphones.
At 21 I didn’t know much about relationships.
I puzzle over them even today, to be honest.
But I do remember thinking it was a shame that someone at just 31 was separated and divorcing.
Julie was a school teacher.
I don’t know what her husband did.
But I do know that Julie’s husband had headphones.
And I even know where Julie’s husband kept his headphones.
He kept his headphones on the hall table.
Just inside the front door.
The Weeknight Routine.
Monday to Friday.
Here’s what happened.
This was Julie’s weeknight routine.
Julie was always home before her husband.
Julie about 5.30pm.
Julie’s husband about 6.30pm.
Julie always knew when her husband was home because she’d hear the click, click of his key in the front door.
She’d hear his bag hit the hallway floor.
And Julie would also hear the scrape of his headphones as he lifted them from the hall table.
And put them on.
Julie heard her husband flop into ‘his chair’.
Turn the TV on.
And plug himself into it.
Monday to Friday.
Julie made tea and popped it onto her husband’s lap at around 7pm.
He ate it.
And at around 9pm he’d unplug himself from the TV.
Rise from ‘his chair’.
And plug himself into his hi-fi.
(If you’re under 40.
Google will explain ‘hi-fi’).
And that was that.
Julie was great.
We had a good year or so together.
She told me about how.
She’d imagine slowly walking up behind her husband.
As her husband was plugged in to his TV.
Or as he was – eyes closed – plugged into his hi-fi.
I was never quite sure if Julie’s daydreaming ended with the cutting of wire.
Or the cutting of something else.
I never asked.
In the year we were together.
I never did wear headphones myself.
Just to be on the safe side.