I seem to be going retro. Its the only reason why I have conflicted feelings when you display these little hints of something. You clearly like to boss people and in your subtle and sometimes not so subtle way have them do what you want. You've tried this with me a few times, and each time of course you would get the typical response from a female whom no one bosses around. I think you realised you couldn't do this last Monday when you were hinting at wanting me in Vivo by 7, when I told you I could only arrive at 7.30 at the latest. You called at 6.48, checking whether I had already left. And of course you got an ear and an eyeful. It wasn't my fault I couldn't make it on time, after all. I would hate to call it power games because that sounds so inappropriately harsh, so let me call it the tug to and fro of two dominant personalities. You do or say something to ruffle my feathers, sometimes I think on purpose, because you clearly enjoy the fight. You have said as much, twice. You like these little tussles. And clearly like the make-up sex even more. What you are particularly good at, and something you probably enjoy, is metaphorically wrestling me down to a point where I stop my emotional somersaults. How funny is it then that you told me Thursday morning that I provide you stability?
Yesterday was another day where I see both your vulnerability and strength. You nearly cried in the cinema, watching a scene where a man sees his wife pass away on a hospital bed. And later after the movie, two unexpected things. First was when we were walking along this narrow strip of pavement, looking for a bus stop. I was wearing heels and I stumbled, nearly falling on the road. I had not expected you to notice because you were walking ahead, there was J and there was me taking the flank. You came back to me and asked if I was alright, and I said I was fine, then walked behind me for a bit before giving up on the bus stop search and deciding to hail a cab. I am not used to not being the one who does navigating like this. It is refreshing to not have to think and just follow your lead. It is even more refreshing to have someone acting all protective. Again, this is a novel feeling. I am a big girl and have never felt a need to be the recipient of any protecting.
The cabbie was curt and increasingly rude as we made our way back to your apartment building. I would hazard a guess it has to do with racism. I was stroking your thigh and teasing you about Maxwell Food Centre when the cabbie missed a turn when you and J had already said for him to make it. The cabbie raised his voice and said something I cannot now recall. You responded in equal measure, in a tone of voice I had never heard you speak before. Your usual calm, even-keeled and civil manner gave way to some serious hackle raising, daring the other to take you on. And the way you said it too, and what you said, was just enough to make the cabbie tuck his tail between his legs without crossing the boundary of losing your cool, or saying anything crass. It scared me a bit, so much so I realised later that I took my hand off your thigh. When it was clear the cabbie would not say anything further, I reached over again and lightly stroked you, calming you down.
Afterwards on the couch as we snuggled and talked, waiting for J's meal, I told you you scared me a bit. You said why, I would never do that to you. J also heard and said you were a bit much. Like I said, I must be going retro because the brief display of pronounced masculinity may have momentarily scared me but also gave me an illicit thrill. I would imagine it is how one would feel if one had a near-miss encounter with a lightning bolt - equal parts fear and exhilaration. One moment you were hurt and nearly in tears, then you were protective, then you pushed back against someone whom you thought was treating you unfairly, to finally resting in your default mode with me - little boy eager, loving and horny.