I admit it. I am no longer a booty call. I am having an identity crisis.
I run through the possibilities in my mind: Lover? Partner? Girlfriend? Wife? Nothing fits. I don’t really have any real points of reference to go on either. Over the last 20 years, I have had a string of dysfunctional relationships which have all been mentally or physically abusive. I was married for 6 years……to a man I had dated for 3 months before making the cocaine decision to get hitched. The main reason to get married, as I recall, was that everyone we knew was in desperate need of an end of winter bash, plus I was unemployed and miserable and it seemed like a surefire way to get all of my friends out of work mid-week for a champagne mash-up. To be honest, the whole thing was like a joke that got seriously out of hand. Oh, giddy youth.
So, now after all the chaos, I find myself 2 years into yet another unconventional liaison with the Rastaman, pondering the future, and wondering how it will all end. Can such an inter-racial relationship ever truly work? Could it function anywhere other than on our little rock?
I have to admit that I have a very 1950’s attitude when it comes to my role in a relationship. I have no idea why, as I am a hard-nosed bitch in all other areas of my life. Yet in the Rastaman, I seem to have found my equivalent – a 1950’s male counterpart. Or, as my feminist friend says, “a neanderthal”. The question is now whether I have simply lucked out and found the ying to my yang, or whether all Caribbean men are a bit “1950’s-ish”. Submit your answers on a postcard please.
I have long been a believer in the fact that women’s liberation and the feminist fight for equality has led to the downfall of society (it all started with Eve, lest we forget). Women want to wear the trousers, men can’t get to grip with skirts. Then, there is this pointless emphasis on being in touch with one’s emotions, and worse than that, constantly expressing them. Most women seem to express them in cryptic clues, which most men really can’t be bothered to work out. Let’s face it, you get the answers in next week’s edition, so you might as well ride the storm. It is completely beyond the scope of my comprehension.
The joy of the Rastaman is that he doesn’t understand any of it either. There are no grey areas. It is my job to cook, clean, and generally look after him. Yes, I’ve greased his head (this involves rubbing vaseline into his scalp between all the dreadlocks) and filed his nails. It is his job to mend things, look after the car, make my grey skies blue, and give me some lovin’. But the best part of all is that he does not indulge my caprices. If I get moody, he puts a stop to it. I recall throwing a paddy and the Rastaman looked me in the eye and very calmly said, “Either you stop behaving like a worm or I am going home.” I contemplated telling him about the pathetic thing that had bothered me, but even in my own head it made me sound like a complete twat, so I sucked it up, kissed him, and started cooking supper. But by far his greatest trait of all is the fact that he lives in the present. He has no interest in the past, even yesterday. It is all about now, this very minute. Could such a straight forward approach to life survive in the melée of a city, where past regrets lurk on every corner?
So, yes, it would seem that after 2 years, I finally love the Rastaman……..which presents the most almighty problem. The Rastaman belongs here, in the Caribbean. I’m a nomad. There are places I want to visit for no particular reason, cultures I want to experience simply out of curiosity. I am not ready to give up on those wants and settle down, least of all here. Oh, if I were 10 years older, life would be so simple. For the time being, my heart keeps me here while my mind wanders. But the pull of my wanderings is becoming stronger and I am simply at a loss as to how to proceed. Nomads are not meant to fall in love with settlers.