My Father’s Laughter

A few moments ago my father invaded my sanctuary-also known as my bedroom. He always does this late at night when he’s bored. His usual punching bag (my brother) has left home for the big city where he does computer things all day. So here I am, at his mercy. The great thing about being a girl with my father around is that he knocks before he enters. He’s one of those queasy men who wont say “tampon” and gives me money every time I say I have cramps.

So he knocks and I say I’m not dressed and I expect him to say “oki doki” and move on along the passage to knock on my niece’s door. He does not do this. Instead he hovers outside and after a few seconds he asks if I’m decent. I am not. So I quickly pull on a sleep shirt and pretend to be deeply engrossed in something (Vampire Diaries). He comes in and proceeds to my dresser where he picks up a lavender-scented talc powder bottle and all but empties it onto his belly. Oh, my father is round, and has exhibitionist tendencies – he walks around topless at home rubbing his belly and occasionally beats on it “like a calabash” (he actually says this). Of course I’m mortified by this (the talc business not the calabash thing-I’m used to that) and I watch in horror as he spreads the white stuff across his tummy and the residue falls silently to the ground. I have a dark green carpet. And I vacuumed it just this morning.

My dear father sees the look on my face and is tickled almost to the point of tears. Clearly the shock and horror I have shown are amusing and he then calls out to Linda to come over and see..(Linda is my niece. Linda is eighteen.) Linda runs in excitement and is disappointed when she realises what he’s laughing at. This is when she notices the talc on his tummy. Then that on the floor. She looks at me and points silently at the hoover and I nod. Slowly.

Daddy is not phased by our lack of enthusiasm and proceeds to go bother my mother with tales of powder and the perplexed girls he left in my room. As I type this out I am thinking of ways to bribe our helper into cleaning up this mess in the morning (she isn’t allowed to clean my room because African moms) And my father is still laughing.

His child like moments remind me that even when I’m old and sore from life and I have children who would rather sit in their rooms and pretend to be busy (Vampire Diaries), that I must still be happy. I want to find joy in silly things like talc powder (although I will shoot anyone who attempts to do this to me ever again) and laugh even when the world is not laughing..

Love and peace. and laughter

The Empress

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