“This lady received numerous awards and accolades that stack from here to the moon, or maybe the universe,” Father Albert said, “make good use of her.”
“Accolades?” I asked.
“She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Stanford, USA,” he said, “she had a two-year stint at the White House.”
“She rehabilitated a plethora of hardened criminals,” he said.
While at the waiting room, I checked out a signage on the wall of her consulting room, it read Dr. Joy Dipolelo Kumalo BSc, BA, PrMG, MD, MA, MSc, MBA, Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), Ph.D. (Economics).
My God, where does one get so much time to consume so much material?
“So you robbed a bank to finance my gig,” I said.
“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that,” he said, he brushed my head.
She came out of the consultation room with an old man, said her goodbyes and then focused on us.
“Good afternoon Father,” she said.
“Afternoon,” he said,” This is your patient.”
“Patient?” I said.
“I ‘m going to man the chickens,” he said, “call me when you’re done.”
“Certainly Sir,” she said.
Sir? This woman is something else; her mannerism is out of this world.
“Hello,” she said.
She could sense that I was not going to utter any words before she did.
“Hello to you too,” I said.
My therapist was gorgeous and had a great body to match. She was those kinds of ladies that were so immaculate; she could wear white suits for two consecutive days without any marks. She took care of everything she did, be it eating, talking and even walking. She was always mentally present at everything she did.
“My name is Joy Kumalo,” she said.
When I entered the room, I saw lots of medals, certificates and family portraits placed nicely on top of a black sideboard that also had all sorts of artworks from around the world.
“Nice to know you,” I said, “I guess you already know who I am.”
She looked like she was in her thirties. I took a seat on a fawn buttery leather couch shaped like a boat while she pulled a lime velvet wing chair and sat opposite me. She crossed her legs and took out a pen. She held a writing pad in her right hand and the pen in her left.
So she is left handed, a real genius
“Okay,” she said, “tell me about yourself.”
I was hesitant to open up.
“What do you want to know?” I asked.
I could not lay out my life to a stranger on a click of a thumb.
“Anything, how about what you like to do for fun,” she said,” your circle of friends, your family? ”
Circle of a friends! – You don’t want know, believe me
“I ‘m lone ranger, no friends just an aloof girlfriend,” I said
“What’s it that steals your peaceful nights,” she asked.
“It’s a lot of things,” I said, “my past is troubling me.”
“You‘ve to develop a crocodile skin,” she said, “You owe it to the world, not the other way round.”
I thought she was harsh.
“Well-,” I said.
“Do what makes you happy as long as you don’t harm anyone or animals for that matter,” she continued.
“What if harm comes my way?” I said.
“Avoid putting yourself in situations, then you’ll win,” she said,” that’s the way to a peaceful life, nothing more nothing less.”
“Do you see any car you admire,” she said.
She made me look outside her office window.
“That Benz 500 SL,” I said.
“The apple-green one with black rims?” she asked to confirm.
“Yes,” I said,” It’s cool. I want to own it someday.”
Just as I was finishing my sentence, the robot turned red, and all the cars came to a halt.
“I’m unhappy this day,” I said.
“No one’s happy all the time, normally people are happy sometimes and sad sometimes,” she said,”just like in the Bible, the seven years of famine and seven years of harvest.”
“What good is life without a constant stream of happiness?” I asked.
“Happiness is being content with the current and hope for a better future,” she said.
“Why do we‘ve to struggle so much,” I asked,” Why can’t we be happy 99 percent of the time.”
“Happiness is not a constant state of mind; it’s droplets of ‘aha’ moments that drops into the pool of what you call life,” she said.
It was not every day that one gets that kind of advice let alone from a stranger.
“Am I depressed?”
Out of nowhere, I asked that question.
“How do one distinguish bad from worse, if one only knows, great?” she asked ” how would you find out when you‘re happy if you ‘ve never been sad?”
“I guess it’s instinct,” I said.
“You‘ve to feel the pain to appreciate pleasure,” she said.
She sounded intelligent; it was not what she said but more her voice and how she said it. I was not privy to her hourly rate but however exorbitant it might have been, she deserved it. She was worth every penny. While she narrated intellectual words, the robot turned green. There it was, the Benz, it failed to start. A heavily bearded white man with gray hair got out, punched at the car, and then kicked the tires in frustration.
“You see,” she said, “now go home and work on the hand that God has dealt you.”
“How do I exchange a losing hand for a winning one?”
“Unlike poker, life deals only once, unfortunately,” she said,” there’s no second draw, use the losing hand to win.”
“I mess up any chance I get,” I said.
“Listen to your inner voice.”
“How,” I said,” this beats me all the time.”
“Have you ever thought that maybe you play in the bigger leagues,” she said.
“I hate mediocre.”
“Maybe you should play at your level and learn the ropes, “she said, “your time’s up, I’ll see you in three weeks.”
I wondered if she had the man there by design or she did it out of a hunch. Maybe she was planning to narrate a different story altogether, had the car started. I was perplexed by the stunt. She supplied pills to take for three weeks, drink lots of water, sleep at least seven hours a night and think positive thoughts. At first, the idea of me spilling my guts to a stranger was difficult. She was gentle, caring and made it easy for me to let it all out. The three weeks passed like a day. I was skeptical to see her after the treatment because I felt a lot better.
“How are you feeling now,” she asked,” how are the nights?”
“It’s a mixture of pleasure and pain, “I said, “It’s a little calmer this time around.”
She proposed that I kept myself occupied. I had to perform physical and mental exercises so I could get tired and sleep better.
“I’d love to know more about your upbringing,” she said.
“Why,” I asked, “what does it have to do with anything?”
“It’s always the root of most problems,” she said, “sometimes the headaches are the results of the subconscious mind attempting to rewire and make sense of the past.”
We discussed my past and the troubles I had during my youth days. We talked more about my siblings and the verbal abuse from my stepfather, Mr. Dhlamini. We had a good laugh when she told me that the pills were just a placebo, not headache pills. They were just a mineral combination of magnesium, zinc, calcium and vitamins. She wanted me to heal by myself.
“A lot of my patients are only as sick as they let themselves believe,” she said, “I ‘m a firm believer in training people’s minds’ to nurture inner peace before outer peace.”
I developed an intellectual connection to her. I was sapiosexual towards her.
“I can’t pinpoint whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert,” she said,” you’re selectively social; you choose way too careful who you trust.”
Right on point, it must be from the lifetime of betrayal.
“I ‘m flexible,” I said, “It depends on whose company I ‘m in.”
“Take this questionnaire, fill it out – next session bring it with you so we get to classify you like the rest of my patients,” she said.
“It’s not genetic, “I said, “I developed that mask as a result of the hardships I endured.”
“Well you can’t let events alter your demeanor,” she said.
“It’s a habit I developed due to the constant back stabbing,” I said, “I grew believing that people are evil.”
She had a long-standing contract with the Church to assist the brothers, the sisters, and deacons regularly. She also counseled the streets kids brought to her by the church. Moreover, she was the go-to advisor for broken marriages. She was also an economic advisor to several organizations. It was unthinkable in those days to have a black person, a woman even, practicing as a clinical psychologist. The sleeping disorder faded after about two months of therapy. Although the headaches were still there, they were less severe. The dreams were pleasant due to the positive thinking approach I practiced. She was sweet; she took her time with each patient. At times, I thought I was the only one.
On one hot Saturday afternoon, Joy invited me for a session. I was caught by surprise because my appointments were usually on Thursdays afternoon. As I opened the door of her practice room, she stood there with half a glass, wearing a transparent lacey nighty with no panties on. There was a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket. My jaw dropped almost to the ground. There was some soft music playing in the background. Lauren Wood to be accurate:
‘I can’t believe it/You’re a dream coming true
I can’t believe it/How I have fallen for you/
And I was not looking/Was content to remain
And it’s ironic to be back in the game.’
“Is this coincide or by design?” I asked.
“What you talking about?” she said.
“The song?” I said, pointing at the speakers.
“Narcissism doesn’t suit you, “she said,” You should try modesty.”
“I’ll take it is planned,” I said.
“Are you going to come in or what?” she said.
She left the door and went for the couch. She seductively dropped her nighties; adrenaline rushed from everywhere in my body to the bottom half. It was as if a flood of energy had infiltrated my body. I had an intense hard-on that could have made weaklings succumb to a heart attack.
“In-,” I said, “I ‘m in.”
I was choking on my words. I had been daydreaming about this moment; little did I know she dreamed the same too. The encounter was serendipitous. It felt as if Father Albert had inadvertently introduced me to the love of my life. I could feel that she was my kryptonite.
“I saw the way you were looking at me,” she said.
We were kissing; I almost choked on my saliva.
“Did you?” I said.
“Yah,” she said, “remember I’m a psychologist, the best for that matter.”
“Remind me not to cross you.”
She must have been a psychic. That day even a blind man could see the signs or at least smell the estrogen levels rising. I pulled down my trousers without thinking twice, and the big man was already hanging high. I grabbed her by her *ss, lifted her up and threw her on the couch. I kissed her on the softest part for quite some time; I could tell that she enjoyed it. Using both her hands tilting my head, she directed me on which parts I should concentrate. It went on for the whole night. It was good and relieving, a lot better than the talking. I had anticipated that moment for days, but I did not think that it would happen so quickly.
“Are you going to stay the night?” she asked.
“If you ask nicely,” I said.
“Alright,” she said.
She took out an aerosol cream and strawberries from a fridge.
“How about you smear this one on me?”
“Before that, “I said, “I ‘m a bit hungry.”
“I’ve some rolls and meat,” she said.
She had food and more champagne in the fridge as if she knew that I would not refuse her advances. There were lots of various snacks, biltong and all things romantic. We had a lengthy conversation about her life, childhood issues, the man in her life and the professor she shagged with during her heydays in varsity.
“Can you believe it’s my first time in six months,” she said.
“Six months, my God,” I said, “such a gorgeous lady like yourself.”
I was astonished maybe unnecessarily so; I must have brought my men thinking into the whole equation since I could not manage one week without s*x.
“You know his pen doesn’t write anymore,” she said.
She was married to a business person by the name of Johnny Kumalo, whose member was no longer functional due to diabetes. He overcompensated to cover the weakness by pampering her with oversea vacations and cruises around the world.
“You got me to your rescue,” I said, “anytime- I ‘m all yours.”
I could not believe that I was offering myself to be her s*x slave. Her office phone rang off the hook.
“Aren’t you going to take it,” I asked.
“I know it’s him,” she said,” he’s possessive and calls for anything just to check up on me.”
“Do you mind courting a grown woman?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “the older, the better and the more understanding.”
“How about younger ladies,” she asked, “foreign women or white women?”
“No and no,” I said, “I’m into caramel skinned mature black ladies like yourself.”
“Juice?” she asked.
“No,” I said, “rooibos tea.”
“Avo or cheese,” she said,” Both?”
“Avo,” I said.
“My skat?” she said.
“Yes?” I said.
“Are you okay,” she asked.
“Yah,” I said,” why?”
Later into the night, the small talk became fewer with short answers like ‘yes,’’ no,’ ‘get out of here,’ ‘you lie.’
We exchanged those kinds of phrases that we utter when we are either not interested in the topic or too tired during a conversation. She dozed off and fell asleep on my chest. I felt a heroic rush, rescuing a damsel in distress. I had her all to myself the following morning exactly what she had anticipated. We made out like rabbits from the morning until later in the afternoon. Meanwhile, her office phone rang off the hook.
“And you’re going to ignore him today still?” I asked.
She had been anxious for this sort of attention and pleasure for quite some time; I bet she did not even hear the phone at all.
“He knows that I ‘m on a speaking engagement this weekend,” she said.
She did buy the plane and hotel tickets as a cover up. Later into the evening, I let her go to her husband while I retreated to my crib for a few beers with the gang.
That was the sound of the intercom. I was not expecting any visitors. It was on a Saturday. I looked through the door’s peephole but could not see anyone.
‘Tring-Tring-Tring’ – The buzzer went off again.
“Max, Open!” someone said with a sweet voice. “I know you’re in there.”
It was Athena’s voice; I became restless. I looked through the intercom display, and there she was, with a friend. They had three plastic bags that looked like groceries. Maybe she wants to cook for me, but why the surprise. She should have called beforehand, I thought.
“Max, Open,” she shouted.
Quiet. I was thinking. I could not open. She went to the back garden and saw through the sliding bedroom door on the first floor that I was with someone. She then went back to the intercom.
“I know you’re in there,” she shouted. “Open.”
She went back to the buzzer. I still did not open. She pressed her right thumb on the intercom button without letting go. It was as if crickets infested my living room. I played dead. I then yanked the curtains close and played the music load. After a while, there was some silence.
I heard some sound after a while. When I looked through the window there, they were throwing eggs at Joy’s car. I was furious, but I controlled myself. I could not confront them. I reckoned they should console themselves and maybe they would leave.
“What the hell,” Joy said.
She looked through the window and screamed.
“I’ll take it to valet,” I said, “I ‘m sorry.”
“These brats have gone too far,” she said.
She hurriedly wore her robe planning to go out. I grabbed her, and we fell on the bed. I kissed her hard on her neck until she got a love bite.
“Let it go, “I said, “I’ll fix this.”
They kept on throwing eggs at the car; it must have been a crate of sixty eggs. They left after running out of eggs. Athena wept like a recently widowed wife. She was furious; her partner in crime had her right hand across her back rubbing it up and down to console her. I did not expect her. I never taught she could manage to come by my place alone without my consent. I usually collected her from her home and took her back. She must have missed me a lot since I had not seen her for over a week.
“She’s just a kid,” Joy said.
She left the bed and went to prepare a snack.
“Okay we’ll see,” I said.
“She’ll swallow it down with a bottle of wine; women do that,” she said, “she’s not the first women to be cheated on and certainly not the last.”
“Alright – If you say so,” I said.
I was not in the mood to talk about it. I was stratifying in my head how I was going to resolve the mess.
“Here,” Joy said, “for the birthday boy.”
“Oh Lord,” I said.
“This is the part where you say thank you,” she said.
I forgot that it was my birthday. It totally slipped my mind. I then realized that Athena longed to spend the day with me.
“Lift your head up like the cowboy you’re,” Joy said, “man up.”
“Thanks, honey,” I said.
She got me a custom-made wall clock that had my face embossed inside. It was a heavy ornament made of pure silver with aluminum trimmings, a work of art indeed. I could not savor it; the stress took effect.