Because this was too good not to get down… Let’s see where it goes.
“Life,” she said, “is a bit like peeling brussels sprouts.”
He had been sitting at the dining table worrying at a jigsaw puzzle that had too much sky. Increasingly blurry, uniform blue shapes stared back at him defiantly. The space he had yet to fill – awkward and irregular – openly challenged him. Her words came to him through the little hatchway that separated him from the kitchen.
“You start with a decent sized one but then, by the time you’ve taken off all the blemished leaves round the outside… Well, they’re half the size.”
From the timbre of her voice, and the way it was slightly raised, he could tell she had assumed he was not only still sitting at the table, not having slunk away into the front room or up to his bedroom, but that he was also listening.
“I mean, you can spice them up with tiny bits of bacon and whatnot – but in the end, they’re still sprouts.”
As if in defiance – of her, the puzzle – his fingers picked up a piece at random and, undoubtedly more by luck than judgement, cooperated instantly with his eyes to find its exact location. The piece dropped into place with a satisfying ‘snap’ as he clipped it in, the result of tensing the card ever so slightly to get the effect.
“How are you getting on?” she asked, prompted by the sound.
“What do you mean about sprouts and life?”
“Don’t you mind me and my nonsense.”
She smiled over her shoulder as if he could see her.
His eyes sought out another piece, a darker shade of blue with just a fragment of the end of a wall touching one corner. Of course, he knew very well what she mean about brussels sprouts and life.