I could tell as soon as she came in today that she’d found out. I bustled her out to the garden, made the G&Ts on the strong side and waited for the outburst.
You see, somebody named Al wrote in the other day and intimated that Clarissa, much as he loves her, is a figment of my imagination. I thought about deleting the comment there and then, but let it go and hoped Clarissa wouldn’t get wind of it. It turns out one of the astronauts’ wives reads the blog and told her.
‘What does he mean?’, she said,
I’m glad to see….your imagination continues to run riot.
‘Without me there wouldn’t a spaceship up there which didn’t come back to earth by falling down’. She handed me her empty glass. ‘I’ll have another one of those and while you’re making it, listen to this. The Space Station is changing crews at the moment. So, 3 o’clock this morning I get a call. It’s Michael Barratt . Guess what he wanted?’
I passed Clarissa over her drink. She didn’t really want me to answer. ‘They are cooking pancakes. They want to know if they have to flip them downwards on account of being Up There. Honestly. That’s what I have to put up with. So I say to him, “Michael. You are up there with the Bodies in the Space Environment experiment studying the effect of gravity on you humans and you can’t even figure out its impact on a pancake. Get a grip lad. I’m going back to bed.”‘
I went to speak, but Clarissa hadn’t finished yet. ‘I’m going to ask for a payrise. It’s one think keeping the darn things up there, but cooking lessons too. It’s way beyond the call of duty don’t you think?’.