In the daily activity of warding off devils, I am sometimes caught off guard and was recently surprised by a particularly potent evil. This was a sneaky one – disguised as a long lost family member who had suddenly become concerned with the well-being of my partner after an absence from his life for almost three decades.
We must have seemed really happy in those Facebook posts that announced our almost ten years together!
Shortly after arrival, I was advised clearly by the assiduously groomed and meticulously well-informed visitor that she had come to assess my legitimacy. (Whatever that may mean!).
Thank goodness I specially cleaned the house, cooked a great meal, decanted the dooswyn, set the table and warned the children to be on their best behaviour. I even hired somebody to help me clean-up outside a little. Yes, it certainly is no longer a cheap round to attempt a good impression.
I remember thinking after they departed that I will never, ever do this again for anybody, ever again in my life – you will find me as I am from now on. And for any future seekers of ‘legitimacy’ – I sure hope you find me when the house is clean and there is actually food in the fridge.
Fortunately, our devil was not one of those heavyweights who capture unsuspecting victims, reduces them to a pulp over many years and then leaves them to die at the side of the road. She was a walk in the park in comparison but nevertheless extremely forceful; a one night only coup d’etat.
The carefully constructed façade came undone slowly in the flickering candlelight at our impeccably curated dinner table. At first it was only the protruding claws and long dirty nails that became visible as it started picking at plasters and scars of recent and historical wounds; specifically aimed at overthrowing my authenticity but harming my loved one instead and my empath kicked into autopilot. I checked my sword. It was however not our first ever onslaught of this kind so I remained playful and continued to tend to the comfort of our dragon, graciously ignoring indiscretions and allowing the benefits of fair play while eagerly anticipating any signs of love.
It was not long before the perfect conditions constituted for a complete and full unveiling of the demon. Light bounced off salivating fangs, gleefully licking scabs and grazed skin from monstrous claws, beady eyes darting with excitement; challenging my good-natured reaction after every abrasion in order to gain ultimate power through shaming, guilt-tripping and embarrassing her hosts.
From the experience of being an accidental survivor, I luckily no longer wonder about people who enjoy creating drama and exposing dark secrets and stories about others for narcissistic gain and I follow a single simple rule – KILL IT (THERE AND THEN).
So when I detected a shift in my partner’s eyes, almost like storm clouds moving over a bright full moon, (after a particularly victimising comment with overtly sexual undertones), I prepared for battle. He growled softly as he left the table and I responded with deep loud laughter to avert the attention which threw the devil off guard for a bit, just long enough for my partner to recover and gather his weapons, returning calm and composed to the table armed with a bottle of tequila and four embellished Moroccan tea glasses.
The advent of the looming battle made me shiver as the adrenaline kicked in. He filled the glasses only half with the strong clear liquid and toasted me first. Our eyes met in silent accord, I winked, he nodded and simultaneously blew the last of the day’s guardian angels off his shoulder while lifting his glass. The shooting star faded as it hit the ground and we entered the abyss of darkness in full force, alone.
I took one sip to calm my nerves and then used the attention of the other toasts to bump the content of my tea glass into my water glass (knowing my weaknesses all too well) and unleashed a personal set of weaponry. My partner smiled surreptitiously at my first choice, not at all startled by the sudden earsplitting volume of Earth Wind and Fire’s ‘Fantasy’ while he swiftly led the dance and in unison we removed obstacles from the battlefield in preparation, returning to his own weapons in-between songs to fill the tea glasses.
Our devil had become confused from the sudden transference and my deceit went unnoticed as I regularly emptied my water glass in the kitchen. In defence mode now, the long claws and heavy armour had become clumsy in a battle that required a lightness of being.
The playlist started in the 70’s and by the 80’s the enemy was still frozen from shock and noise, unable to inflict any pain in the face of so much fun and laughter – ‘Get(ting) Into the Groove’ – and resorted to gaslighting; shooting fireballs from an ugly forked tongue.
I was hit in the 90’s and my partner in the 2000’s but we persevered and sometimes taunted – ‘Strong Enough to Live Without You’ – while fueling the dragon with alcohol to the point of gradual self-combustion as a result of the bewildering circumstantial forces which caused the swallowing of words, or rather fireballs.
By 2017, ‘Starboy’ concluded the battle in our favour at around 4:00 am.
Wounded and tired we dusted off the ashes and swept the last of the burned-out devil into the early morning dawn of a new day and whispered softly to each other: “stay in the light baby”.