On unhappy marriages

Over beers, we cheerfully swapped stories until we were spotted enjoying ourselves by a roaming drunk. It’s a hazard, I guess, of socialising in public.

She was one half of an unhappy marriage. She sidled up to us simpering, slurring, and dribbling an oily mix of English and Portuguese. Her husband, she explained, pointing disdainfully towards an inscrutable man in the corner, did not please her ‘in any way’. She supported her judgement with crude, mocking gestures to convey the inadequacy of his manhood. Our audience was required to complete his humiliation.  

Her performance signalled the end of intelligent conversation for the night – the rest of which we spent gently fending her off her encircling arms as she mumbled bitter-sweet nothings in our ears. Her husband showed no sign of being affected by the vodka-soaked vitriol cutting savagely across the hum of the bar. He sat – serene and unmoving – in his corner seat with just the hint of a sinister smile that suggested his revenge was just a question of time...