Tuesday, May 18, 2004
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Phone: +27 11 447 0300
Ian Henderson and I are meeting to talk about running workshops together. He's a musician by night, and a trainer by day, amongst other things. And he's just come home from a two-week session in Burundi, doing some kind of strategic intervention.
This morning I was at Wits University, delivering my creativity workshop to the Wits Post Graduate Internship program students. Fourteen high calibre individuals hand selected for an intensive one-month series of seminars, workshops, lectures, all aimed at preparing them for work in the real world.
And it was a delicious experience for me. Serious amounts of supreme babeage in the class. Yeow. Something about being back at varsity. Ah. The hormones.
Over lunch with Stacey at the Hard Times Cafe in Melville, I read through the feedback forms. Seems like I came across as universally excellent, with my name tag game being the big hit of the day.
But for me the big hit was to come around 5 o'clock, in the form of an sms from Jacqui telling me she'd sent me email explaining her aversion to my being in touch with my feminine side.
So, in the edit suite at work, with shaking hands, I clicked my phone to bluetooth, unsheathed my iPAQ palmtop computer, connected to the internet, and downloaded my mail. And there it was. Something from Jacqui. The subject line: "A Hard Letter to Read".
Not kidding, really.
I've agreed with her not to divulge the details of the email, but what I can tell you is that I'm still reeling. She's decided not to go into another session of couples therapy with me, seeing as we're no longer a couple, and her decision is final. And she elaborated on how my being in touch with my feminine side has made her feel over the nine months.
You know the taste you get in your mouth when your filling hits a piece of tinfoil? That electrical nerve-burst? Well, add that to being mashed in the solar plexus by a prize fighter. Then add a squash ball to the right testicle.
Seems that over our nine months together, my feminine side so repulsed her that she had to call it quits. Never mind the supreme sex she readily admits to have enjoyed with me. Never mind the many times she told me, "Roy, I've NEVER felt so loved by ANYBODY!" Never mind the little notes on my bathroom walls from her telling me how much she loves being with me.
Well. Yeah. Never mind those things.
And at the end of the email, a kind of a disclaimer, saying that she realises these feelings are her feelings, and that it's her shit, and that she's dealing with it in her own therapy. Her saying how terribly sorry she is for her role in hurting me. And asking me for my feelings on her letter.
I'm just totally dazed. I'm reeling. I've never in my history of failed relationships been hammered this hard by anyone. I've never fallen this far in love. And I've never fallen this far through love, to crush myself against the bottom.
Triple jeez with a major goddamn thrown in for good measure.
So I pack it in for the night at work. I can't edit. I can't concentrate on chemistry lessons for Ethiopians. I can't stop shaking, and I'm crying in the edit suite. Not good. Not good at all.
So I fire off a couple of smss to Jacqui as they occur to me. Things like reminding her of instances where her email was inaccurate. She smss me back to say that she understands my anger, and that it's justified, but can we speak about it in a few days, cos anger scares her so much.
Quadruple muthafuckin jeez! Who is this chick??? It's clear to me that I don't know her at all.
So I sit in my car and feel dazed. Then I head for Primi Piatti to make my appointment with Ian. He tells me his sister's here from London. And she's back for good. Gonna stay in South Africa. That she's going to join us for our chat, cos she's got a few ideas of her own.
"I'm still reeling a bit from an email I got from Jacqui," I tell him.
He puts his hand on my shoulder. He's just gone through a painful breakup, but he's now reconciled with his babe, and they're making a go of it. "Oh man," he says.
"So," I say, "is your sister single?"
She arrives. Hoo boy. Blonde bombshell. Self-assured. Bright. A delight.
But I've kinda got this silly rule... Don't do friends' sisters. Don't do friends' ex- or current-girlfriends. Don't do their mothers either. Don't do work colleagues. So unfortunately, I won't be looking at Bridget in that way.
But I WILL be looking at Bianca like that. Yummy. She's also babesville. And she's sent me an email, seeing as her role in the Ethiopian project is over, and we're no longer colleagues. I've sent her one back, and I'm hoping she'll send me her phone number.
"I must apologise," I say to Ian and Bridget. "At the moment I'm far too in touch with my feminine side."
And I eat a quarter of the pesto rossi burger I've ordered, since my appetite has hit the pavement along with my heart.