REALIZATION OF DOMESTICATION
I am in my bed, I am sleeping. This fact is deep, deep in the back of my deepest subconscious.
I am dreaming... I am aware of it, but not aware at the level where interaction with what I am seeing, or the alteration of my dream-state is even faintly possible. I seem to be in my current, 30 year old body, and my ever so slight (screw you, its small) beer paunch is visible if I look ever so slightly downward.
I am man!
Boy, more like. I am standing at the center of my High school's sports field, wearing the baby blue school shirt (button-up, what else) which I so hated for all 5 years years I called the place home between the hours of 07:00 and 14:00 on weekdays. The blue shirt was an accursed thing due to my (very zone-specific) hyperhidrosis. Now since I know you are not going to google that...it's excessive sweating. Baby-blue is not the ideal color for a 17 year old almost-man whose right armpit tends to lactate salty water at the same rate his testicles are producing milky white liquid at that age.
But i digress...
The school bell is sounding, and a cock (of the avian variety) is running across the field upon which I now stand. Why the fu-dge is it there!? It starts to crow, merging its voice with that of the school bell, and starts to speed up. Thirty seconds pass and the damned thing is still going, starting to hurt my ears now...and my head. I reach for it, pick it up by the neck, and search for the button my dream is telling me must surely be somewhere on its forehead. But to my alarm - you must see where this is going by now - there are two buttons. One says snooze, and the other says off. I absent-mindedly press the snooze button on the cock's forehead and everything goes dark.
Now, the time-frame between this and the body crawling over me is very vague. All I remember is the following dialogue - translated from very crass Afrikaans:
"Get out of bed...NOW! If I can't sleep, you can't sleep either!"
Three (3) questions enter my barely functioning mind...
Why is she yelling?
Why does my head feel like it's splitting open?
Eeeeaaaarrrrrooooowwwww? A pain rippled murmuring sound I remember uttering. It sounded like a question at the time, and may even have been meant as one, so I thought I may as well include it; in the interest of full disclosure.
The answers to all these questions come rather quickly, and I will now proceed to convey them to you, my readers.
QUESTION 1 - Why is she yelling?
First, some context - something without which nothing in life has any meaning.
She, is my fiance, and her name is Chantél. She is red headed, gorgeous beyond measure, and always reasonable...in all matters relating to everything.
Now that she has read as far as I expect she will, I can continue with my story...
She is yelling because it is Saturday morning. She is yelling because I have neglected to set my 05:00 am alarm for week days only. She is yelling because it is now 07:00 am. She is yelling because the cock-crowing alarm clock on my mobile phone and I have been locked in a battle of (lack of) whits - measured in 15-minute snooze cycles - for the past two hours.
QUESTION 2 - Why does my head feel like it's splitting open?
Context is sometimes overrated
I will say, that a University friend, let's call him Frans, had come to visit for the weekend. I will say, that we had decided to mark the first night of his visit with a 'beer or two' at a lovely and perfectly respectable social establishment 'withing walking distance' of my home, and that a 'beer or two' had resulted in us nearly having to help each other walk what we now considered as 'not at all within walking distance' back to my place around 03:30 am.
Oky fine...we were shit faced. And this resulted in - what felt like - the head splitting death march of a thousand steel toed Nazis through my cranium.
QUESTION 3 - Eeeeaaaarrrrrooooowwwww?
Still relevant as above.
Over the next (what felt like) 30 minutes I was made painfully aware that I would not be allowed to sleep any more, purely because 'I had decided' she was not allowed to sleep any more. This decision - I tried to relate to her - had not been made on purpose. My attempts at absolution however, were a grievous error, and I know this now.
I got up from the bed, of which I may or may not have been seeing two, and started heading toward the guest room, where my friend, lets call him Frans again, was sleeping.
"Don't you dare wake Frans (Shit, I just gave away his real name by quoting direct dialogue), this is not his doing. He gets to sleep it off, you don't!"
Frans (Yes, fine that's his real name) would later confide to me that he had been awake, and had heard the entire interaction between us, and had not known whether to laugh or cower below the covers like the child of parents charging head first into a messy divorce. I responded by asking him who he would want to end up living with, should it get to that. He just walked off.
I was instructed to go to SPAR (the local grocer franchise) and purchase the ingredients for the potjiekos (google it you lazy bastards) which I had so vehemently told Frans we would be making the night before; yes it would seem she had heard this. Either that, or she wanted potjiekos and was using this as an excuse.
Wait a second! Just wait a god-damned second. It was dawning on me now that this was not a first for her, nor had this only happened on the few occasions she had something to hold against me (I will tell you about the urine soaked shoe closet once this blog reaches 30 000 views). This had been going on for a while...4 years to be exact. Here I am, a man who has worked himself to the bone, sacrificing my already questionable sanity for a working wage; and it has taken me this long to realize I had been domesticated...Domesticated!
A quick online search will give you the following result - this is not even edited for my convenience:
I have been thoroughly domesticated over the course of time we have been living together, I think to myself. The sly but gorgeous red shrew has done it. She has gone and done that which I swore would never happen to me. At 23 I was the man...damnit I was going places...
And now I am MAN: DOMESTICATED
Don't get me wrong. This specific experience was of my own doing, and I am by no means a chauvinist, and yes, I know that is exactly what a a chauvinist would say.
As I push the shopping trolley down isles of produce trying to ignore my nausea, I look down at my hand scribbled shopping list - I made it myself so as to look well in control and not at all phased by her anger and the shouting which was piercing my ears. My list says I need to get baby marrows, baby onions, baby potatoes, baby carrots and mushrooms. Nothing about the list seems to be out of the ordinary, I have definitely not been mind fucked this time. I am in control
Unrelated thought; I wonder when we are gonna start talking about having kids?
I purchase what is needed, making sure to add a Lucozade for myself and one for Frans. I also include 4 mini doughnuts (red shrew's favourite flavors), a small tub of vanilla Haagen Daaz's ice cream and two blocks of fudge - Mamma's gonna love me even if I have to purchase my ticket to her heart by way of her taste buds.
Hours later I am sitting in front of an open fire, potjiekos boiling prettily, pipe-in-mouth and Frans, a near mirror image to my left. I am looking at the garden of the small small flat in which Red and I have been living for just over a year. Leaves need a'racking. I think to myself. And at some point I'm gonna have to get to the garage, shit's piling up in there.
The smell of potjie hits my nostrils and I open another beer (I am able, and allowed to drink again). I think of how, at 23 I would never have imagined any of this to be my future. The thoughts and dreams of a 23-year-old have no place for responsibility.
I am the fellow of the house now, I pay the rent, I have dogs, I cut the grass, I help with the dishes, I make the bed.