Where do they go, these little ones who disappear – the uncreated? Safely curled inside their mothers, for a while; but then what? I have an intractable presentiment (maybe a hope, maybe a fear) that one night I will glimpse them, in Tod’s dream… Some mornings, as we prepare to turn in, and go through the heavy routines, of mussing, of miring, we can feel the dream just waiting to happen, gathering its energies from somewhere on the other side. We’re fatalistic. We make no attempt to go to sleep. We lie there, with the lamp burning, while dawn fades. In quickening series, tepid sweats slowly form, and briefly shine, and instantly evaporate. Later, Tod’s heart rate begins to steepen: even his ears thump with the new blood. There follows a timeless and pitiable period of steadily worsening confusion. By now the bed reeks of fear. I have to be ready for when Tod makes his lurch for the light switch. And then, in darkness, with a hot shout which gives a savage twist to his jaw – we’re in it. The dream. We’re in it right up to our neck. The enormous figure in the white coat, his black boots straddling many acres. Somewhere down there, between his legs, the queues of souls. I wish I had power, just power enough to avert my eyes. Please, don’t show me the babies!… Where does the dream come from? It must come from the future. The dream must be about what Tod will some day do.

It’s mildly encouraging, now, in the street, when Tod looks at a woman. For once his eyes point where I want them to point. Our priorities or imperatives are by no means identical, but at least they overlap. We like the same kind of woman – the womanly kind. All ages. Now, Tod looks first at the face; then the breasts; then the lower abdomen. If it’s a back view, we go: hair; waist; rump. Neither of us, it would seem, is much of a leg man – though I could do with a bit more than I get. Another thing bothers me: the time spots Tod allows for each section. Tod is done with the face way too soon. A single downward swipe of the eyes. Whereas I’d like to linger. Maybe the etiquette forbids this. Still, I’m mildly encouraged. There’s hardly any of the usual vertigo effect, when I’m trying to see things that he’s not looking at, when I’m trying to look at things he’s not seeing.

Vivified, perhaps, by all this fieldwork we’re doing, our solitary sex sessions have become a lot livelier of late. The missing component, the extra essence is generated, of course, by the toilet, by the trash. You just daub it on. And you’re away.


The Suburbs of Cairo
In Soweto