I open the front door and step into my house, a pile of letters lie on the doormat, bills for Mr. & Mrs, I laugh out loud, in a bitter kind of ironical way. As I walk through the hallway I pass a bunch of family photos on the phone table, I pause and glance at each of them in turn, they now feel like history, as I move on into the house my footsteps echo on the oak floorboards.
Pepper the Dog, now old and grey and deaf is asleep on a sofa, she doesn’t stir.
I have the strongest feeling of being in some kind of garish dream, from which it’s only a matter of time until I wake, but I know this is real, how do I move on from here?
The next morning, Monday I am due at work, but call in sick instead and head to my Doctors, I sit there in my Doctors office & talk, she listens, I leave the practice with a sick note – one week off work and a prescription for anit-depressants.
That first night after beginning to take them I have the strangest dream in which my wife is the central charachter. She is seated on silk pillows in a Turkish seraglio, like some kind of Ottoman potentate, surrounded by servants and slaves who feed her grapes and fan her. I am trying to talk to her to explain myself, she begins to laugh, then her entourage joins in and my words are drowned out. I wake up at four a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. The second night once again another dream about my wife only in a different scenario and again I try to talk to her and she doesn’t want to listen. Again I wake up at four a.m. and unable to sleep I google anti-depressants and find that one of the side effects can be vivid dreams.
By day my waking hours feel like a piano played with the damper pedal down. The sound is there but there is no life or resonance so I decide to give the pills a miss, they don’t feel like they are helping.
I need to come up with a plan but have no idea what to do, I decide it doesn’t really matter, just to do something, anything, however outlandish, to keep moving and busy, to change my situation.
I think for a while about finding solace at the bottom of a bottle, tempting though oblivion might be I’m not ready for it yet, how about making a healthier me? That can do no harm at all.
I get in touch with an old friend who is an Ayurvedic practitioner. She does massage & therapies, knows her stuff on dietary advice and as I’m overweight & unhealthy it really can’t do any harm seeing her.
I arrive at Lorettas studio for my first appointment, everything is white, the walls, the massage table, her cotton dress and apron. Indian sitar music is playing gently in the background, incense is burning, candles are flickering away.
She begins with a questionnaire, to establish what I need, we talk about my relationship going tits up, she knows my wife and the guy that’s shagging her, she talks about yogis being full of shit sometimes, preaching one thing and doing the exact opposite. I wonder if she says it just to make me feel a little bit better, but I’m happy to take it as a supportive remark. After a while the questionnaire completed she explains she will write up a plan for me, it will include a diet, herb teas & she recommends colonic irrigation. For this last task she opens a drawer and retrieves a clear plastic bag, somewhat akin to a see through hot water bottle with a long syphon tube and attached tap. She gives me clear instructions verbally how I am to use it, along with wriitten notes to take away.
Next it’s time for a massage, she tells me to take my clothes off down to my underpants and lay face down on the massage table. She leaves the room whilst I strip to my kelvin kleins. I lay face down on the table my eyes and nose and mouth sticking through a hole in the massage table looking downwards to the floor.
I hear the door open and Loretta waft into the room, there is a clatter of utensils and she explains she is warming some massage oil.
She begins to massage my back, the scent of the oil and the sound of the music and her hands soon send me drifting into a state of what I can only describe as mild euphoria, I like the feeling. She leans over the table to reach my shoulder and in doing so her thigh presses up against mine, and as her hands massage my back her thigh rhythmically pushes against me. Never have I ever thought of a crisp bit of cotton as sexy, but wrapped over Lorettas thigh this is what it becomes. This is nothing more than a massage, but I’ve not been this close to a woman other than my wife in more than two decades. Then I feel something hard pressing against the table. Where the hell did that Coe from? I realise it’s me, I have grown a full blown erection. At some point soon she will ask me to turn around, what the hell happens then? Eureka, I just need to think of unpleasant things and it will go away. I start trying to think of ugly, horrible things, I settle on the idea of Margaret Thatcher naked in front of me, with saggy wrinkly tits hanging around her waist. She has a handbag in her hands and is gesturing me to come and get it.
Margaret does the business like a trooper and by the time I’m asked to turn over onto my back my tumescence has shrivelled to nothing. I spend the remainder of the massage trying not to find it pleasurable, which given the state of my life on most counts was a darned wasted opportunity.
Wasting no time as soon as I return home I decide to use the colonic kit, a good cleanse inside and out, a new me, that’s what I need. I read over the instructions, fill the bag with luke warm water – 1/3 full. Now Loretta had said she filled it 1/3 full, but hang on, she’s a tiny thing & I’m twice her size, I fill the it to the top, I am a big bloke after all. For location I decide on my sons bedroom, he’s away and the house is empty, & anyway it is all wooden floorboards, his room has this really comfortable rug in it & as I need to lie down that’s where I will do it, he will be none the wiser.
I hang the bag from a hook on the back of his door, lie stark bollock naked on the floor and ease the syphon tube up my jacksie with the aid of a little coconut oil. Next I turn the little tap on and lie back, I watch as the water flows down along the tube and into my butt.
Call me old-fashioned but I’ve never been one for sticking things up me bum, after all it’s a free world, but you know what this isn’t a bad feeling at all. I lie there watching the water level in the bag gradually diminish as I begin to fill. By the time the bag is half empty my stomach has begun to swell and there are inner rumblings like a far off storm, I’m getting a bit full so decide to turn off the tap, it breaks off in my hand. I fumble in a rising state of panic to reconnect it without success. I lie there clueless as the water now flows unrestricted into my butt & my stomach grows outwards until I look like a man that’s swallowed a football whole. The rumbling inside grows in intensity as the last of the water drains from the container. This is going to end badly I know it.
I try to move as gingerly as possible towards the lavatory but before completing a first step a new sensation rises in the depths of my nether regions and the tube shoots out of my ass followed by a torrent of liquid which sprays walls and carpet and bookcases as I go. I race to the lavvie trying to clench my buttocks to staunch the flow but this only concentrates it like a high power pressure hose and I spray everything that crosses my path. I spend the next couple of hours cleaning up.
I start going to the local Buddhist centre for a daily meditation class each lunchtime, for an hour or two I sit there, crossed legged with a bunch of other people. The idea as I understand it is to close your eyes and empty the mind of chattering thoughts. I fail dismally and keep peaking through mine and checking out the ladies, I figure that I’m a beginner at this meditation lark & in a bit of a mess so Buddha will understand.