A couple of years ago, we traveled together to Nepal. It was a pretty easy trip, with cool beers and Lake Fewa to enjoy; chilly mornings brought the unexpected and spectacular view of Fishtail Mountain. We brought back a zillion things to sell, or gift to friends, and we still have two beautiful Nepalese paintings on our wall in our studio. All in all, we are still talking about the trip two years later, and fondly nodding about that awesome Snowman coffee shop, and those refined elegant and complex Durbar Square temples.
So, we decided to go back, and of course we were going to make mistakes. We did not check on requirements for ID checks so, our first morning of the road trip was being turned away from the Check in desk at Delhi International. The cheeky taxi driver that knows how to fix the dilemmas appeared and for his early morning starter fee of three thousand rupees, he got us to an already departed non a/c bus all the way there. It might sound like the start of a terrible ordeal, but as I stepped onto those unhinged back-row seats, however bumpy a ride this was going to be, I felt cheered by the Nepalese singing and clapping that had really only just begun. It was a journey filled with local laughter and good spirits.
Tension does not arise out of nowhere and my tensions are often put down to my imagination, as if imagination is some inferior place that generates inferior concepts. We already were bored as shit of each other, and seemed to be on a tightrope of ill health, drama, and the elephants in the room, addiction and denial. But we kept soldiering on. Those elephants are not real, they are just your imagination.
Relationships in the twentieth and beyond centuries might best be characterized by the navigation of personal space. It is important. I need my night-time time on the desktop, and I need to be out of relationship duties, and back in my world, where I am sovereign. I need to engage late at night with my geek online strangers who over the years have got to know me, encourage me, and develop and hone my writing. I love and cherish my insomniac time to review and reflect and to just hear myself think on our rooftop terrace.
I need to stop being muse, wife, mother, lover. I just need to stop. And be just me, sitting under the Neem tree. I sometimes sit there and hope he will notice my quiet absence, and come and sit and say hello, good evening my sweet beautiful woman. But, more often, he will be on his laptop, well and truly lost.
A couple of years back we found one of those cafes you really wonder if you will ever come back to. Fabulous fresh food, and an atmosphere, that you just soak up, and feel I really am here in Katmandu. Those little brass bowls leave more than just a significant tourist appreciation, they change your palette as the body gets used to more oxygen and for a moment, or a day, your tongue relishes the delicate tomato chutney, and there is a slight tingle of the metals reminding you, You are here.
It was nice to go back. Of course, there is a slight arrogant, Oh I know my way around this heaving, dense city pride when you do find the turning after the camera shop, and brimming with such a small victory, you order your food, drink your chilled beer and kind of find yourself back in the same beautiful city, with the same beautiful man, but a little caution hangs in the air. Or is that desperation? I perhaps am guilty of confusing the two.
Mellow after lunch time, with a little super fast wifi, provides us with respite from the labyrinth city and it’s millions of hawkers, and for a shortwhile, or as long a while as we need, we find ourselves in a peaceful courtyard and can just ease ourselves in to the fabulous and surreal immersion into a vibrant, sexy, liberal and at times conservative too, culture that is most wonderfully not known to us. Every alleyway will call us, beckon us, sultry, steaming, mountain girth sexiness will enchant and excite us for several 24/7’s to come. How blessed are we?
He passed me his phone, as he was experiencing one of those infuriating but unimportant technical glitches. His icon was not displaying on one of the go-to apps where we all spend hours lost but never lonely and asked me if I knew how to remedy this. I took the phone, and tapped the screen to refresh the view and in my face, was that sixteen grid visual format of both Instagram and so many old school porn/webcam portals. Sixteen luscious spank me, bite me, squeeze me, lick me bountiful, beautiful bare arse up close and naked was now in my hand and so I already said, In my face.
I passed the phone back and I am not sure if I laughed. That moment when the proverbial pin can be heard, slithering the thru the air, until it reaches it’s ting ting, drop. The truth-shuffle ensued. That I had deviously searched his phone. That it was simply the news-feed. That there was a glitch with the phone. Etc.
I know this. I did not trawl that phone for those pictures. Gave that up a long time ago. Anyway, he is an artist and so to be honest, the desktop is already full of snatched images of naked snatch. Reclining snatch. Laying on the side snatch. Whatever. It is for his art. He must explore beauty. It is his duty to maintain his aesthetic appreciations. Yes. Right. Humour me. Go along with the story. I have for so long.
I know this. This relationship has a lot of spaciousness to it. It might at times seem suffocating and controlling, and neither will even know which is which and who is to blame. We accept that. And over time, I do not bother him for many hours of the day. He wakes up with a hard-on and rushes to his laptop to spend some time with his cyber sexbot reality. He admits it and denies it depending on, I am not sure what. Am I in principle porn averse? If I say Yes, that is not the truth, because in mild doses it can add to a more juicy feelgood factor. If I say No, that is also not the truth, because, well, it takes me to a strange, restless, unresolved part of myself that I thought I left a long time ago.
Forever Batchelor girl lived many lives free of this. I avoided loving people. I avoided the crushing disappointment that loving entails. I avoided and deftly ran from all and any commitments. Why spoil a good longing or a good dream with an unfortunate outcome laced with sleeze and resentment? Why shatter my lifelong confidence and ease into something so hurtful and destructive? Why do it knowingly? Why do it for the experience that will cause so much suffering? Why put myself in the game of being compared? Why put myself in the threshold of such utter rejection? Why play the unreal game of loving if it is all a lie?
Finally grace pushed me towards a reality based love affair. Making homes and creating practical truth based love seemed our constant inspiration. The mental connection gave roots to our outlandish lifestyle choices, to break taboos and to break hearts and to make this leap of culture, religion, caste and creed and be together. We were the lovebirds that reached out in the night to hold each other tight and say, quiet thanks for being given a second chance in life. To again, trust and love and be loved.
What a ride. What a ride. I do count my blessings for so many blessings that have fallen our way these past couple of years. I do. But, you know what, right now, I am beyond angry. I am beyond sad. I am beyond finding words for this. Is this a betrayal that robs me of my self-worth or my beauty, or my courage? Only if I let it. I need to tread very carefully right now in my 180 day opportunity to stay here. I need to take it moment by moment, and feel my way through this. It is not as easy as it looks. Rage and indignation, arise. Jealousy arises. Terror of my own ageing arises. It is real and it is not. There will always be a world of beauty that we can immerse ourselves in. City streets are filled with nubile young girls, smiling, teasing, beckoning it’s visitors to risk more, see more, do more, be more. Old men are not going to stop being fooled and enchanted just because I would like a bit of real life loving and attention. Yes, to be brash, I want to know if you imagine you would fuck them hard for more than four minutes. Would you last? Would they suddenly fill you with agile lustful performance art techniques that proved you really did have it in you, you were just not with the right woman? The accusation hangs heavily in the air. The blame game unfortunately goes both ways. I stand accused of not being hot enough. Not being erotic enough. Not being lush and abundant enough to satisfy your longings.
Know your self. Know your fetishes. Know when they impact your real life. Know that there is kind of a real life when you involve another into the endless narcissism of modern life.
Will young beautiful things, swirling their hips and gyrating their sexuality cause me to doubt my own sexuality? My essence of being a woman? Person, gender not entirely relevant. Will I be so easily threatened by the beautiful function and form of a beautiful young thing? I can’t see it. I can not see that in principle those are the things in the world that scare me, or make me seek solace, doubt myself or not. It is the 21st century and pornification has happened. I should be really firmly used to this culture that is ours, and hard-won.
What bothers me most, is that this has become a normal lunch-time down-time habit. Like all the other habits. We must not speak of them. We must deny, refute and pretend they are not happening. We must allow the spoiled prince of boys his freedoms, otherwise he will quickly become hostile and feel trapped and controlled. We must collude, and we must pretend, it is art, and it is beauty, and it is perfectly normal. Yet another elephant just arrived in the room. It kind of trampled my day, and ruined my appetite. I don’t think that charming courtyard restaurant holds the same charming romance in my heart right now.
In fact I don’t really feel any charming romance in my heart right now.
That is the truth of how porn, addiction, bootie, and all the licentious desires and needs get crammed into one tiny lunchtime she will not know what I am looking at whilst she sits across the table from me slot. The essentials of a greedy man seem to live and thrive in total oblivion that there is a price to pay for this. You want open juicy alert interactive sexuality in your face at any price.
I will not bore you with my own ghosts. I will not torment myself with my insecurities and long forgotten self doubt. I will not permit you to steal my beauty. I will not beg you to desire me.
I no longer whisper Thank you my angel. Thank you.
It looks like you might not notice for a while.