(18 hours of my life)
She, the one upon whose bare bottom I have nibbled upon each new morn since the beginning of time, my superlative lover, my delicious muse, my idolized wife has betrayed me. Henceforth and forthwith let her be known as Delilah. How so, this turning of the worm?
A full pentagram of seasons has passed since she begged of me to grow my locks so that they, once more, were as they were in those halcyon days of curry and lager. I acceded, of course I acceded. What else could I do?
Yet just the day previous to this, my mane tied per her definitive wish, in the form of a long flowing ponytail, she lay in wait, crept upon me from the rear. Armed with just long blade scissors she held back in wait for the perfect moment and, catching me unawares, at a single stroke snipped off a baker’s dozen of inches of this latter-day Samson’s barnet. Dangled her prize in the face of this now forlorn, once mighty soul. Her eyes had a certain madness about them.
“Why the fuck did you do that?” My, quite reasonable opening gambit.
“I don’t know really, I just did. It seemed like a good idea. Sorry”
“It’s taken me a fucking age to grow it out this long. Good idea? It must have been pre-meditated?”
“It wasn’t and I said sorry, and anyway, it could have been worse.”
Yes, it certainly could have been worse. My how we laughed. For a moment, at least. It was only then, as the stark reality of it all sunk in, I christened her the Delilah that she is.
What of me? In the mirror, I gazed. I immediately made note of the blunt fact that one side of my new-found coiffure was several inches longer than the other. This prompted the melancholy thought that I had attained the characteristics of the young Boy George. I found myself humming his 1970’s Hit Parade number one Karma Chameleon and felt most sick. Certainly, there was much hair still attached to my person, yet so very different I looked. A dead ringer perhaps for one Matthew Hopkins, The Witchfinder General from days of yore, or perhaps a stereotypical trooper in Cromwell’s Model Army. In short, I found that I looked an accomplished prat and in an instance got the right royal hump!
Whatever, it was thus that earlier this day I donned my trusty old fedora (a necessity of circumstance) and set out to find one who, although plainly unable to make me as I was before, could perhaps dress my hair in a manner that did not make me look the fool, the village idiot. So, to the local barbers I went.
I explained my predicament in some depth. The barber, a young man with a shaven head, the bare breasted torso of one who likely was either his partner, or perhaps his first victim, tattooed upon his neck (a thing that did not bode well, yet needs must when the devil drives) asked what style of haircut might take my fancy. He even lead me to me a galaxy of posters set upon the wall of his establishment. Even, suggested certain styles that he felt might suit.
“Well, young man,” said I, “All the chaps in your pictures either look like mass murderers, bank robbers or child molesters, so I have to say, ‘none of the above’ please.” At that, a look of anger, or was it hate, enhanced with a soupcon of disappointment, betrayed his true feelings. Nevertheless, he offered to thumb through his various catalogues with me until I discovered my new haircut. I declined the offer and requested of him to do his level best to make me look less like an inmate of Bedlam.
As of now, all is well. I may be taken for an average bore, yet can cope (just). A bore I might be, never average. As to my dear Delilah, and to prove I hold no grudge, below is a copy of the note I wrote her (the original she carries with her always) a few years gone, it reads;
She talks of family planning with spiders; gives advice to dogs on the subject of manners; compliments flowers on their beauty; discusses pesticides with bumblebees; speaks of romance with butterflies; lectures cats on their toilet habits, and, mostly, she just tells off the wasps. Wasps are the Hell’s Angels of her garden. When hot, she undresses, when cold she wears layer upon layer. Rarely is she colour co-ordinated. She looks best naked. This one is of the earth.
Whilst idling in the open air she has shown me many things from nature that being held a hostage of concrete and tarmac had denied me.
She takes in waifs and strays and gives a ray of hope to the unfortunate with kind words. We are lovers, parents, husband and wife. Confidants over thirty years woven together in love this past twenty or so. As just friends there were never secrets. We have no secrets even now. I call her my ‘child bride’ as I am nearly eight years her senior. We are over one hundred years between us – and counting. When the mood takes her she may prey upon the weaknesses of pretentious humanity. In days of yore, in drink, she sometimes destroyed such beings. She is blessed with great, cutting wit and cries giant tears, like crystal balls made of morning dew when laughing. She laughs a lot. She does not ride that savage downhill slalom of melancholy that is my want, although if left alone too long she climbs the walls of tedium. Her smile can illuminate a cathedral, her frown may slam shut its Gothic doors and herald the crepuscular certainty of nightfall. She is blond, her hair fine and long, her body nectarious. A brave one, she has the small scars of childhood recklessness about her limbs. Accident prone, she bruises her body with regularity, yet never her heart. To her there is no calamity in her clumsiness. The regular breakage of man-made objects matters not a jot. She says such things are replaceable anyway. Those mortals who cause the pain born of malice she would lock away forever. She calls small children and the very old, ‘My angel’. Infants would follow her to the ends of the earth. Sometimes she has the mouth of a navvy, sometimes the eloquence of a bard.
She conceived our child in the Polynesian suite of a French chateau in the Loire Valley. As is her way, a certain savoir-faire. When, all those years now past, giving birth to her George she sweltered in the body heat of her own endeavour. Nearly a day in labour, and oblivious to the comings and goings of others, she insisted the midwife undress her. Enthrallingly naked, she bore her son. Natural instinct is second nature to those of the earth, those impish daughters of Eve. Fate wed us; eternity binds us. My Celtic lady is out of step with the rest, captivatingly mad, yet with no comprehension that this is so. She has emboldened me. I think I am her rock.
Her name is Shirley. Shirley is ‘off the wall’ most times.