(Sins of the father)
The room was not lit, but there in the dark I managed to find her. The first impact of my fingers with her naked body was similar to a touch of Braille. Vanessa twitched a little, then smiled. I don't know how I knew she smiled but the mere thought of her lips parting to reveal toothpaste advert white teeth made the whole room glow.
"But Marxy baby why do we live like this?" she asked amid sighs and moans.
"I don't know" I responded, lifting her gently. The room was lit now, I guess the electricity supply must have been interrupted when I got in.
"Marxy, say something" she whispered as I laid her gently on the small crumpled bed.
"Something like what?" I paused, "girl you know I love you". It made her spine twitch.
"Love me, since when?" she shouted as she immediately pushed me aside, took to her feet and suddenly dressed up. She then jerked the door and instructed me, "Leave!"
"Leave?" I asked, paused, gesturing with my hands, "like walk out, like out of the room or out of your life?"
"Both" she chillingly responded. I looked at her eyes, cold, the woman suddenly hated me.
"Both, like the two of them?" I braved her animosity.
"Yes, yes, yes!" Vanessa shouted. I buttoned the three buttons of my shirt, which I had already undone and walked out timidly.
That was two years earlier, and a year later I was sitting in the restaurant of a cheap Hillbrow hotel, chain-smoking my cigarettes and steady sipping strong coffee, which I guessed the bill to be running at least around R56. The waiter didn't seem to mind my eternal presence, I told him I was a journalist, he said I was a paparazzi. I verbally rebuked him and he kept his distance. Two hours into my mental suicide trips my cellphone rang. I checked who was calling but the display reflected "Private Number". I answered, "Hullo". There was silence, "Hullo". The line went dead, I frowned. The waiter was now staring at me. "What are you gazing at?" I angrily enquired, he suddenly pretended to be busy. "Bring me another coffee and mind your own business, you might need my reference letter someday. So start acting like a real waiter" I threw a tantrum. He suddenly brought me a fresh mug of coffee, I smiled and lit my cigarette.
"Do you love women?' my father asked me eight years earlier when I returned home from college after just one semester. I blushed, then frowned. I felt it was ironic that a man who biology suggested that I was supposed to be genetically similar to could ask me such a trivial question.
"No, I don't love women, I just kind of, say I like them, but i'll never give my heart to a woman. You can say I don't love them, yeah, I guess I'm a little different heh?" I finally responded. He immediately put down his glass of wine and frowned. For Pete's sake my father couldn't accept that he had given birth to someone different from him. My father had me as his only child in our household but thirteen other known children with eight different mothers countrywide. My father was what they called a sperm donor, but then he didn't suspect that I had accessed his little secret.
"Why did you say that?" he asked, I smiled, then sat down.
"I was reading an article in the newspaper the other day, it said that any man with a penis and a good sperm count can make a baby, but it takes a real man to be a father" I recited slowly, but steadily.
"Who wrote that, feminists?" he asked, becoming nicely offended.
"I don't know, but it helped me realise that you are the real man and I'm the one with the penis and a good sperm count".
"Are you promiscuous Marx, are you son?" my father asked, looking very concerned.
"I thought you should know that" I quipped, I was surprised at how the old bugger could ask me such a funny question whereas he should be the one telling me the story. From that day I told myself I was going to be different from him, be a one woman man and only drop seeds when it matters, with the woman I love.
The psychologist was loosing her patience with me. "Mashego, did you sleep with all these women?"
"No, of course not, if I did would I still be here today?"
"Don't be hostile with me Sir, I know you journalists are used to asking questions, but for a change answer mine" she was getting angry and it was getting to me.
"Mom, if I may ask my one question, are you married?" I inquired after much silence, she closed her file and declared the session over. I took to my feet and left without sweating her.
What I did not want to admit to the shrink was that I had slept with seven of my father's thirteen children. I knew them, they didn't know me. I had nothing to lose since if I got them pregnant it would be my father's problem to explain the bitter-sweet dilemma. So I slept with my half-sisters as a way of getting back at my father, not realising that by doing so I was living up to my father's reputation of womanizing. I hated the man with a passion but couldn't manage to let a moment pass by to act like him. Maybe the eight women who had babies by him also didn't appreciate being told that they are loved but only wanted to sleep with my father out of passion. Maybe they were like Vanessa who showed me out when I mentioned that I loved her since she was prepared to sleep with me without a declaration of love.
Six hours later at the cheap hotel I was chatting to a woman who budged in immediately after I shouted at the waiter. I had just shared my intimate thoughts with her and she said that she understood my situation sympathetically.
"Now tell me, why are you women like this?" I asked.
"What?" she asked with lots of interest, she seemed to be sharing my pain.
"Look here, she told me that we were gonna meet here at twelve. Girl, the last time we were together was at college, now it's six, the bitch stood me up" I cursed.
"You sound like all of a sudden you hate her" the young woman enquired innocently. I stroked her hand.
"The thing is that I don't have a bad memory of her and now she's keeping me waiting and it hurts, and girl I hate her for that" I shouted, patrons stopped eating and looked at us, she held my hand to calm me down. "Girl, I love you, I've never had anybody listen to my fears like these. I've never had anybody care for me just for me. Girl, you're special, I guess if I met you, say months ago we could have settled together and started a clan" I lied humorously, she blushed. I asked her whether she had a boyfriend, she said they broke up. I said, "I'm sorry, some men are bastards you know, they wouldn't know a good thing even if it hit them. Did he hurt you?"
"Nope, we just agreed that a separation would suit us" she blew my bubble, I held her hand, she twitched.
We did have sex that night at the hotel and a brief affair after that but ended up hurting each other. It was not hurting in the true sense, we both found out that she was my half-sister and the man she told me then that they agreed to part ways with was hers and mine half-brother, who also happened to be the waiter I shouted at on the day I was sitting waiting for Vanessa who parted ways with me just before we had sex in her college hostel room and told me to walk out of the room and her life. She had called me earlier and told me that we had to talk about us. Then me, the perverted son of a womanizer took a pair of condoms and waited for her at the cheap Hillbrow hotel where she did not pitch.
Months later after I just heard from my doctor that my HIV test results came back non reactive I was sitting on the balcony of an expensive Johannesburg Health Clinic sipping cappuccino and reading a newspaper. The column was People on the Move and the caption was that my father had been appointed to the rank of Group Chief Executive at M******e Pharmaceuticals, a condom manufacturing, not vending company that he had worked for for thirty years, even when he was creating a clan with his liberated effective sperm. I was his carbon copy. I read the story and silently cursed, "I hate you pops, for making me sex on wheels. But damn sometimes it feels good".
It was good when it lasted and at thirty eight years old I was still single, but a scratched record, just like my father who had been estranged from my mother since she found out that he secretly had an affair with my girlfriend, whom I met at the cheap hotel and happened to be his daughter. My father was living The Bold and the Beautiful.
I folded my newspaper and left for my urologist's office, who had agreed to put a stop to the fiasco by giving me a vasectomy.
Author: goodenough mashego