But this is absurd thought Aida. I'm a realist at best - a cynic to my detractors - why am I even entertaining this supernatural nonsense?
'Oh Neal, really. Are you quite serious? You've hired a ghostbuster?'
Neal attempted the jocular grin that had first caught her attention back in college. It's not quite the irresistable slice of blue-eyed virility it once was. More a feeble reminder of fading youth; unredeemed even by anything wry or self-parodic.
'Deadly serious, my dear, deadly serious!'
Aida cracks a pained smile.
'Right, mister, if that's an attempt at wordplay - enough already. Of your inumerable talents, punning is not foremost. But frittering our money away on the shysters-of-the-middle-class apparently is?!'
'Aida, that's rather... er, caustic, a response, don't you think'
Aida's smile vanishes. Underneath that well-schooled (but ultimately mediocre) scientific mind, Neal's always been very wooly-minded about such things; ironicaly it's me - the 'creative' one - whose ideas are actualy grounded in some kind of physical reality. Not these absurd metaphysics. 'Psychic investigtor' indeed!
' 'Caustic' Neal, 'Caustic'?! If I did possess any such quality I'd have used it long ago to remove these absurd fantasies from that stupid head of yours!'
And now Aida was truly frustrated. Not so much at Neal - let him indulge his intellectual weaknesses if he must - but at herself: why am I dwelling on this? I'm being at least as neurotic as he is superstitious. Let him have his damn witch-doctor over to the flat. I'll even meet the charlatan!