But if you had some manner of Psychic Helmet that you could
put on, in order to read the women’s thoughts, any man donning it
would be instantly terrified by the previously concealed levels of
female insanity it revealed.
Look at that woman in the corner – a perfectly normal, nonpsychotic
section manager, with a pleasant and easy demeanour
towards everyone she works with. As far as anyone is aware, she
doesn’t really fancy anyone in the office. She appears to be writing a
long, important email. But do you know what she’s really doing?
She thinking about that bloke five desks away that she’s only talked
to about ten times.
‘If we went away for a mini-break together, we couldn’t go to
Paris – he went there with his ex-girlfriend,’ she’s thinking. ‘I know.
He mentioned it once. I remember. I’m not going to go tromping
around the Louvre if he’s comparing me, in my spring mac, to her,
in her spring mac. Not that we’d be going in spring, anyway – given
where we are in our relationship now, if he made the first move
TODAY, the earliest we’d be going on mini-breaks would be –’
counts up on fingers ‘– November, and it would be really rainy, and
my hair would go all flat. I’d need an umbrella.’
‘But,’ she continues, typing angrily, ‘if I had an umbrella, then
we wouldn’t be able to hold hands because I’d have the brolly in
one hand and my handbag in the other. So that would be shit.
UNLESS! UNLESS I could fit everything I needed in my pockets!
Then I wouldn’t have to take a handbag to the Louvre. But I’d be
without spare tights if I got splashed, and I’d have to go barelegged,
and it would be so cold that my legs would look all purple,
and I’d be tense when we went back to the hotel to fuck, and I’d be
trying to hide them with a towel, and he’d think I was prick-teasing
him, and go off me. OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE. WHY IS HE TAKING US
TO PARIS IN NOVEMBER? I HATE HIM.’
She doesn’t even fancy this bloke. She’s barely even spoken
to him. If he asked her out for a drink, she’d probably say no. She
has no desire to have an actual relationship with him. And yet, next
time he talks to her, she’ll be a trifle curt with him and he – in his
wildest, most opium-fuelled imaginings – would never come close
to guessing why that might be. Maybe he would shruggingly
presume she was premenstrual, or just having a bad day.
He would never alight upon the simple truth: that they went on
a very bad imaginary mini-break to Paris together, and broke up
over some tights.