Esther is an unrepentant dyslexic, among other things. So I was amazed when she obsessively got into online scrabble, seeing as how she is allergic to reading and refuses to look at books that don’t have pictures in them.
One has to be careful with Esther though; any encouragement is thrown back in your face as another example of you telling her what to do, and she digs her heels in like a petite stubborn mule even if it’s something as vital as eating or having a bath. So, I sat back and watched gleefully (carefully hiding my smirk when she looked round) as she clicked away for hours and was even winning against people who can read and spell.
Only later when I accidentally congratulated a win did she fire out her anti-literate strategy: “I can’t see words so I just shove letters together until it works”. Her game plan was trial and error, a steadfast refusal to write words.
Today I made a similar mistake; lording it over her is a sure fire way to feel her contrary wrath.
“I’ve just got a 33 pointer against you” I crowed, before realising I was being too gleefull “Oh no, you won’t want to play if I am winning all the time”
“You’re only winning because I’ve given up Scrabble. I’m bored of it” she says matter-of-factly,
“How dare you!” I say, outraged and deflated
“Well don’t you think it’s strange that we are evenly matched, then all of a sudden you are winning”
At these words something popped in me and turgid romance gushes out like a ruptured sewer;
“Oh yes, we are evenly matched aren’t we” I murmur, leaning over to kiss her cheek, “We’re perfect togeth- OW!”
My cooing is cut short because she has the soft flesh of my hand in her tiny vicious mouth and is chomping down hard.
“That’s just what Sid The Duck used to do to me!” I manage to gasp, remembering the scraps we had when I put the heavy ceramic food bowl into my family’s duck cage at night.
Every time without fail, his beak would find the fleshy bit joining thumb to hand, grip it in his vice-like protuberance and twist like a Chinese torturer. Finally, on one glorious day, I realised that if I made a fist I was immune, and would thrust my balled-up hand in his dickhead duck-face and mock him, “See how you like that, you water-repellant wazzock” etc.
Anyway, Esther, having released my digits, was indignant with my allusion;
“Don’t compare me to one of your…animals” she mutters darkly,
“My exes, you mean?” I say filling in Esther’s loss for words.
There was a time when I went around telling everyone (well, one loud-mouth ‘friend’) that I’d lost my cherry to a guinea-pig. The transformative power of this mythology means that I can no longer remember if it’s true or not. What happened that day when I’d lost my shirt, and the short-legged furry one was running amok on my clammy midriff? Only a regression therapist could tell me. And why do guinea pigs have such clearly-marked buttocks?
Anyway, the rough-housing I experienced at the hands of cute animals has moulded me. Apart from Sid The Duck, there was Flossy the angry spinster rabbit who added to my pre-school misery by nipping my ankles relentlessly as I tried to eat breakfast. In the end, I had to run into the living room and swaddle my feet before she set upon me. There was also Bert the even angrier Netherland Dwarf rabbit who nipped regardless of anatomy, accompanied by a honked war cry that triggered cold sweats even when heard through a brick wall.
Perhaps my adult life has been about distancing myself from such domesticated danger; and yet I miss it. I have to work hard to make our current pets bite me- and sometimes I do.
Like all dogs, Goldie yawns when anxious, so I take this opportunity to shove my hand in , savouring the gentle clamping when she closes her mouth, and the confusion in her haunted eyes. The ultimate thrill however is getting Linda to nip the end of my nose. This only comes after a sustained campaign of scrunching her head and tickling her chin; at first she loves it then randomly the worm turns and she latches onto the nearest exposed flesh- my schnozzle usually. The agony and the ecstasy indeed.
It seems I have a fetish for domestic violence at the hands of pets- have I finally found a niche not served by the internet….?