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Nuwe skryfwerk | New writing > Fiksie | Fiction > English > Published authors

First Chapter: Bad Sex – Part 3


Leon de Kock - 2011-09-13

Bad Sex
Leon de Kock
Publisher: Umuzi
ISBN: 9781415201527
Price: R190.95



Part 3
"Licking His Knife: The Post-Mortem"

 

 ‘Yes?’

‘Yes, Anna! You see it everywhere! Women can call men bastards and get away with it. No one even bats an eyelid. It’s almost routine. But let a man publicly call women bitches, and see the flak he’ll pick up from the fairer sex – especially the educated class of woman ...

‘In other words, Anna, I’m saying this: just like it’s more cool to reduce your carbon footprint, or to use water carefully, so it’s also more cool to say fuck you to patriarchy, and to be ... how can I put it? ... ever so slightly down on men. Ever so slightly, you see. That’s the hard part, for me, the “down on men” part. I support equity, but why should equity include a kick in the teeth? I vote for redress, but the problem is, who would believe me, a man, if I made that claim in public?

‘Do you see the problem, Anna? I’m a man. Who would believe me, anyway? It’s that feeling, that condition almost ... you’ve lost your cred merely as a result of your so-called fucking gender. So when I was jousting with Sabina Fairbrother in our own little sex war, the war about whose table manners would win the day in whose kitchen, it wasn’t a matter of equal contenders and a neutral ref, like in boxing. Oh no. The ref – the climate of opinion out there – long ago began to favour women in general, as a class. I’m not talking about the hamburger-eating public here, Anna, I’m talking about the “cool” people, people with money and brains and culture, people who read the Mail & Guardian and Noseweek and the Daily Maverick—’

‘Sure, of course,’ Anna interjects.

‘But now we get to the real point, Anna. I have this determination ... I will not be reformed. That’s my line. Read my lips. I ... will ... not ... be ... reformed.’

‘What does it mean to be reformed?’ Anna asks.

‘It means to tame “inefficient” masculine energy to suit the organising will of the new woman. Animal Husbandry. Strangely, husbandry still happens ... at least, it did to me ... under the old courtly tradition. You serve the power of beauty. You buy flowers. You do romantic things. You get to serve beauty in the old way, but you also get to serve it in the new way. In both, the game can very easily be loaded in the woman’s favour. Basically, she gets to call the shots. Look, as a man, a partner in love, I try to be considerate, a good listener ... I try to be good company. I wash the dishes, I cook, I try not to do selfish sex. I try. I talk, sympathise and share, but when it’s down to the wire, I insist: I will not be reformed.’

Facing me from her upright chair while I sit back on the sofa, exhausted now, Anna shifts the weight of her body from the one side to the other, and re-crosses her legs. ‘I want to go back a bit. What did you feel when she told you she found your table manners, er, offensive?’

‘What did I feel? What did I feel? Jeez, Anna, that’s a big question. I was devastated. I felt like a little boy, all over again. Stripped bare. But I’d have to write a whole book to explain that feeling ... hell, Anna ... that’s no simple question; I don’t even know where to begin—’

‘Well, then,’ says Anna, ‘here’s what I suggest: start writing that book. You are a writer, after all.’

‘Copywriter. Couple of lines here and there ... radio scripts ... training manuals. Payoff lines.’

‘Doesn’t matter,’ Anna replies. ‘Just let it spew out. We won’t be judging it like a literary prize. The purpose is to speak your mind. Your guts. You’re good at that. No holding back. No seeking of approval, from any quarter at all ... I want to see it part by part. Do you think you can do that? I am your audience. That’s the angle of your writing. Explain to me, Anna, how you came to feel what you felt at the moment she disapproved of your table manners, because clearly that was just a symptom of this disapproval thing ... give me your ABC of disapproval. Make your explanation to me the centre-point of everything. Do you think you can do that?’

 

"Licking His Knife: The Post-Mortem" – Part 1
"Licking His Knife: The Post-Mortem" – Part 2