Month: December 2015

Lovers

Yesterday I mentioned sleeping with a doctor and a friend of mine immediately told me not to.

They’re useless in the sack, Violet, nobody wants to have sex with a doctor.

Okay, I thought. I could try and prove him wrong, but this friend of mine, well, he is usually right about everything. So, I cancelled the doctor and thought about other potential liaisons.

Who is good in bed? Is it a particular kinda guy?

I went through the various professions.

Pilots.            Usually good. But they’re all cunts so they don’t count. (2)

Teachers.      Boring. (1)

Bikers.           Dirty. (2)

Waiters.        Eager. And Willing. (4)

Politicians.   Cunts. (1)

Artists.          Useless and cuntish. (1)

Actors:          Never date an actor. (1 x ex-husband)

Dentists:       Hahahahahahaha why would you do that? (0)

Salesmen:     Nope.

Soldiers:        Definitely. But who meets soldiers anymore? (1 x Israeli, 2?)

Chefs:            Yes. On the kitchen table. Against the fridge. In the pantry. (1)

Farmers:       Yes. In the cowshed, in the cotton fields, against a tractor. (1)

Spies:             Yes. Except they only want anal. (2)

Firemen:       Duuh.

Sorry guys, I’m giggling, I know this is the worst post ever written but I’ve loved writing it.

And as you can see, I’m open to sleeping with mostly anyone. And looking forward to having great sex in 2016.

But not with accountants. Or doctors.

And I don’t much care for Germans either.

yes

Imagine

I arrived at the hospital today to find my Dad sitting in a chair, looking fairly bright and aiming his tissues at the dustbin.

Basketball for old people, he said.

I joined in.  He won – the score was 10/2.

That doesn’t mean my Dad was good, it just means I was really bad. Together we threw about 3000 scrunched up tissues.

I imagined it would be easier with pills and suggested we replace the tissues with the tablets.

There is a place for pills Violet, he told me, and it is not in the dustbin.

He threw a pill anyway.

For a brief moment he imagined that he was a basketball player.

For a brief moment I imagined that my Dad was going to go back to being his old self. That everything would be okay.

The doc walked in and approved of our game.

Good exercise, he said.

For another brief moment I also imagined the Doc was going to ask me out. He was young, gorgeous, quite wild looking with a sexy tattoo on his forearm. I could swear he was flirting with me between ball games.

He is about twenty years too young but you know, in the same way my Dad may still play basketball for South Africa, anything is possible!

And I think this is the best thing my Dad has taught me.

That anything really is possible.

And life is short. We never know what’s in store for us.

Be brave.  Do things. Make the most of every moment.

Say YES when the doctor does ask you out. Without any hesitation.

basket

Fever

My Dad is in hospital. I’ve spent the day sitting by his side, occasionally holding his hand, rubbing his shoulders or his feet and trying to reassure him.

Mostly, he does not want reassurance. He just wants to go home. But he is fragile with infection, a very high temperature and delirium. And home has become many different places. His fever has put him back in his hometown of Harare, working at a pharmacy, drinking in the golf club, and playing poker knowing that his wife (my mom) is phoning him to please come home.

He’s forgotten that his wife (my mom) died almost two years ago.

He keeps trying to pull out his drip. When I tell him where he is, in a hospital, he dismisses it completely.

I have never been sick, dear Violet, he says.  Not for a day in my life. And I am not going to get sick now.

It’s true. I do not remember my Dad ever being ill. He has always been in control, strong and healthy.

And suddenly, without warning, he isn’t.

We don’t know how much of his behaviour is because of fever, medication, old age or dementia. He’s up and down and all over the place, and in fact I am now home on the couch and my sister called to tell me he is ‘doing much better.’

So we have no idea what to expect. I think it’s going to be a fairly long and difficult process.

And I know he’s sick and it’s horrible and awful but he did say one thing to me that made me wonder about everything.

He looked at me and said:

Where is your husband, Violet?

I reminded him that I’d got divorced a few years ago.

Well then, darling, he said. This is a perfect place to find the second one.

Get well quickly Dad . I love you.

Delirium syndrome mental health icon design. Hallucinations symbol concept

Evening

Sometimes you read a book and it has such a profound effect on you that you have to keep looking at the cover, front and back, and think – ‘Why have I never read this before?’

I’m reading Susan Minot’s Evening. And it so beautiful that I never ever want it to end. I’m reading each chapter over and over, dog-earing my favourite parts and wandering around reading aloud to my friends.

Driving them mad while I weep.

The book is about love and memory. Ann Grant Lord is sixty five and dying. She’s had a full life with three husbands, a few children, a lot of disappointment, a lot of courage and tons of love too.

But in death, she is taken back to a love affair from forty years ago.

A love affair that was the most exquisite ever.

A love affair that could never be realised.

Page 63, from her deathbed.

Well it does matter now, she said.
Of course it does.
It did.
It still matters, he said.
How can it? How can it matter anymore?
It matters inside, he said.
Where’s that? Can we go there together?
In a way
She was silent. They looked at each other in silence.

I just love that paragraph. They’re together, perhaps, and going back to a time, a day, of absolute love and passion.

The book is about memory. And how there are things in our lives that we will never be able to let go of. Even if we think we have. And that sometimes a love is so strong that it is always there. Even when everything else is forgotten.

Susan Minot has the most extraordinary way of writing. She has these run together sentences, sometimes a whole page long, joining past and present, feelings from then and now, without any punctuation. Just pure gasping magnificent reading.

And the fact that you cannot breathe as you read the sentences is exactly how one should feel about the most astonishing kind of love.

Breathless. Tortured. Passionate. And delighted too.

This is the book that is going to remain by my bedside table. It’s magnificent. I’m going to keep reading it.

Sorry to my book club, but you’re not getting this one back!

susan

Susan Minot. EVENING.

Flying high

I’m typing this from 35 thousand feet in the air, row 32, with my teenage sons on either side of me.

Son one is not having a good time. He has an irrational fear of flying. Not just a fear, abject terror. He gets on a plane, ignores everyone and everything, does yogic breathing, clutches his seat and when that doesn’t work, he pops a pill.

Even then, his palms are sweaty, his breathing irregular, his mind working overtime.

Son two has no such fears. He loves flying, pushes his seat back, takes out his Ipad and earphones and is so plugged in he wouldn’t even notice if the plane went down. Also, he wouldn’t think for a minute that maybe the plane could go down.

And I’m kinda in-between. I’m a bit nervous with take off, then I get into the whole thing, pilots, the clouds and my book. I’m relaxed enough to fight over the armrest, although I don’t really like it when there are bumps for no reason (like now) and the engines change sound (like now) , but realistically, I know we’re going to be okay.

I know we’re not going to crash.

Also, if we do, it’s maybe meant to be. I’m a bit of a fatalist I guess.

But how come we all feel so different? The kid who has huge fears, the kid who has no fear, and me, who just hides them all.

It’s about control. Not having any, or not caring about it. It’s about what happened to us when we were younger, trauma, life experience, and of course, genetics.

Right now we’re being told to put on our seatbelts. Stormy weather ahead. Son One is eying his Ativan. Son Two has started a new computer game. And I’ve just noticed the pilot. Who is super hot in his uniform.

But also has a few beads of sweat on his forehead.

plane

 

Things I’m glad I did this year

Used neck cream
Spent time with my Dad
Smiled more
Walked a lot
Shopped local
Did little
Chatted up barmen
Got a new dog
Read Elena Ferrante
Saw Mad Max
Bought gorgeous underwear
Drank single malt
Celebrated women
And some men
Grew artichokes
And granadillas
Connected with good people
Danced in the rain
Wrote
Sang
Went barefoot

And mostly:

Loved.