“She’s so high!! High above me, she’s so lovely!! Like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc and Aphrodite!!”
Sandra was singing from the top of her lungs. Screaming to be more exact. In the shadowy room I could make out a tear rolling down her cheek.
I sat quietly next to her and let her have her release. She’s too proud to ask for my shoulder and this is what she does whenever she gets her heart destroyed by some foolish bloke.
I’m among the few who is allowed to see her getting drunk and reckless like this. She’s on her way into finishing one whole pint on her own. I make sure she doesn’t bump into things.
“Kiss me…” all of a sudden Sandra was straddling me. “Jaka… please?” her head was aligned with mine and just as her lips were about to land on mine, I turned my face away. Allowing her lipstick smear my cheek..
“Sandra, don’t be like this. Let’s go home, shall we?”
That said, she went limp on my lap.
She finally reached her limit. She wrapped her arms around my neck and began to sob. I automatically hugged her close. It looked and felt as if I was a father carrying his child. I hoped the waiter wouldn’t come and catch us like this. But still I hugged her close, begging God to have the ability to squeeze out all her pains.
Brian was supposed to be on a business trip to Japan, because that’s where he’s posted to manage Palm Oil exports from Indonesia. Instead, Sandra was able to follow him to a massage parlor in the northern part of town. The type that offers ‘extra treatments’.
Not wanting to ruin the Picture Perfect Marriage, Sandra as always, keeps her poise. The doting wife, delightful daughter-in-law. The ever-smiling mother and daughter. I often fear for her sanity. To me she is Aphrodite. Full of love, elegance and forever worthy of affection and praise.
Finally she fell asleep crying on my lap. The sniffles have not subsided yet. Sniffles of intense crying that reminded me of my little sister whom —as a child— I used to tease till she cried.
I sat Sandra down gently in the passenger’s seat. She mumbled a lyric from one of the songs she just sang. I wipe dthe sweat from her forehead and give it a gentle kiss. “I’m gonna drop you off at Nikita’s place, okay? Your daughter musn’t see you like this. Nikita will call up your parents and tell them you worked overtime tonight.”
As I drove into the traffic-free Jakarta, I pictured what it would’ve been like if I was into girls instead of guys. Wouldn’t I and Sandra be one of the happiest couples alive?
Aphrodite did marry Ares a fellow God. Also she married Anchises a mere human being. I cannot recall any Greek mythology of Aphrodite falling in love with a queer being like me. Even so, I love my Aphrodite, with the light of million galaxies. A different kind of love.