It’s volatile, our daily life, but not as volatile as the fieriness I feel on those few occasions when my indignation gets too much to bear. Mostly I accept who she is and how she is – and how I am, of course. But then there are those infrequent times when unforeseen rebellion creeps up and crawls out. Why? Because of the dumbing-down she gives this life of mine. I volunteer for it, I know that. But sometimes, just sometimes, I feel the rebellion-urge. I speak the words, though silently – ‘No, I am no slave. Not today. Wash your own clothes’.
But silently is all, for she is Laundry Mistress and that leaves me nothing more than her Fan Male. Our customs and exercise are pointless – I iron the fleeces, the socks, the ties, and even the lace apron she insists I wear while carrying out my laundry and housework activities.
I’m twenty nine years old, tall, not bad looking… I have a fashionably small beard and good muscles… I’m strong and sturdy and could knock her down with a waft of my outstretched hand. But I don’t. She will always be my wife, my lover and my world, and I am simply her Fan Male – eternally positioned in our Divine Laundry Room. There are worse destinies. I accept my inner rebellion and quell it perfectly with external calm. The humidity and heat of our Divine Laundry Room is tempered by the air flow from the back door, and by the lupins and foxgloves, herb hedges and midsummer growth in the garden beyond. I am allowed to watch the butterflies dance, between tasks, and I happily wait her next command.
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you’re happy and you know it, stamp your feet.
‘Angus,’ she shouts from the living room. And I, her Fan Male, go to her.
‘Turn the telly round a bit,’ she says. Of course.
‘Bring me a glass of something,’ she says. Of course.
‘Sit here, next to me,’ she says.
I obey and am immediately directed to the floor by her feet. I remove her socks and she stretches out her toes. Rebellion is unnecessary. We each know our places, just as we know what comes next – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.