At her favorite café, Carla eavesdrops on a couple arguing at the next table. Well, she assumes they are a couple; she assumes they are arguing.
“I’d rather you impose on me than someone else! Especially Harriet!” says the woman. She has a white, pointy nose that makes Carla think of pinched pie crust.
Are they in fact a couple? Would a wife or girlfriend use the word “imposing”? It’s a peculiar word: complimentary as an adjective, critical as a verb.
Trevor would certainly say that it’s impossible for someone to impose on his partner. Never mind that he imposes on Carla all the damn time, leaving his coffee-scummed mugs in the sink, not even bothering to rinse them. Trevor also maintains, quoting some old movie, that “love means never having to say you’re sorry.” He clearly doesn’t understand the movie, is Carla’s take. The character who says that is lovingly forgiving an apology extended to her, a forgiveness that is only possible when an apology is made in the first place.
“You don’t get it,” says the man, which confirms for Carla both that they are indeed a couple, and that she dislikes the man, dislikes his stubbly, sulky face.
She wishes he’d stalk out, grandly exiting. She’d like to share with the woman one of the lemon bars gleaming under a glass cake dome by the cash register. They could lean towards each other, each with a fork in hand. They could compare notes about the men in their lives, so posturing, and so transparent about their respective Harriets.