I was in a hospital waiting room this afternoon. As usual, I finished the three-month old Time magazine quickly, so there was nothing left to do except stare at other people-- which is so rude-- or eavesdrop-- which is rude but subtle.
A woman about my age wearing a full-length white furry coat plopped down in a chair next to a man who turned out to be her husband. She was talking on her cell phone in a loud voice. "Do you want to meet me at Tom's . . . . well, why not? . . . you're always saying you want more time with me." She argued for a few more minutes before hanging up. Then she turned her attention to her husband, who was wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket-- kinda cool in my view.
"I think you have amnesia," she stated flatly.
"No, I don't."
"Uh huh, you do. I'm sure of it."
"No. I just can't remember everything you say." A minute of silence. Then she said:
"It just really frustrates me when you act like such a sourpuss."
"I am not a sourpuss," he answered.
"Yes, you are definitely a sourpuss, and you've been that way all day. I hate it."
"What do you mean? I got up this morning, I gathered wood, started a fire. . ." Silence again.
"You've had a real attitude. Something is wrong with you, and you have an attitude."
This time he waited a while before responding, then:
"Maybe I'm just tired."
(Ah. So that's it.)