married life

Zsuzsa’s up. She tried to convince me last night that ‘szarok rád’—literally, 'I shit on you'—is not too hard a curse.

I guess it’s relative. The thing is, we don’t curse like this in English. We’ll say, ‘Fuck you!’ or ‘Fuck your mother!’ or something, but we don’t generally specify who’ll do it. And it’s not really a command, I don’t think. So, when we say, ‘Fuck you!’ I don’t think it means ‘go fuck yourself,’ otherwise, we would just say, ‘Go fuck yourself!’ Most people don’t think about it, of course, but the sense of it seems to be, some unspecified third party, a contractor or something, should come along and do it. Sometimes foreigners trying to curse in English say, ‘I fuck you!’ which sounds more like an Arab or a gypsy curse to me. ‘I shit on you!’ implicates the supposedly offended party. It’s a whole different dynamic. For modern-day Anglo-Saxons I think the idea is to stay above the fray. I mean someone offends you, a simple ‘Fuck you!’ (meaning someone will, but not me) will do. We don’t want to get our hands too dirty.

I don’t remember exactly what was said Saturday night to merit that ‘Szarok rád!’ I think it had more to do with the fact that at some point (around half-past eleven) I left the kitchen where we were chatting amiably enough, and switched on the telly.

I had been waiting all day to see a light-middleweight boxing match I’d seen advertised earlier when we were watching the telly together. Between Hungarian Mihály Kotai and Brit Darren Rhodes. The ad consisted of a segment probably about a minute long, showing their weigh-ins. Traditionally the weigh-ins take place in the locker room, with the boxers totally naked, but both of these guys were in their underwear. Kotai was first, and the camera panned up and down his body. He’s every inch a man. Perfectly proportioned. And undefeated. Rhodes is wirier, and altogether less impressive, with a spotty record of wins and losses. But I didn’t catch the time and wasn’t even paying attention to which channel it was on. So, when I realized this was it, I made no apologies. And why should I?

Actually now I remember, we were talking about this excursion she had planned for Sunday. We were to set out at ten, but then this Ági, who was driving, phoned and said nine-thirty, which irritated me. To tell the truth I didn’t really want to go, or maybe I just didn’t want to think about it beforehand. It was like a man on death row being told the night before that for scheduling reasons they had moved his execution up a half-hour, and was that OK? So when Zsuzsa told me I said, and how long will we be gone? She said we’d be back by four. I said, that means we won’t get back till at least six. And she said, well, what else do you have to do? I said, nothing, but like Gertrude Stein said, ‘it takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.’ I have to make time for that!

So we had just started in on this question of whether or not I would in fact accompany them on their excursion, and she was saying, ‘OK, don’t go! Just stay home and write in your stupid diary and masturbate to your stupid pictures, then!’ Just like José. She’s the one who begged me to show her what I had on my laptop, and I foolishly obliged. Now, she’s criticizing me for it and demanding edits. I mean, who are these people?

Anyway, once she starting going off on me like that, I just laughed and left the room. I switched on the TV (and it occurred to me instantly that this is precisely what TVs are for), and saw my boy Kotai in training in a segment shown before the prerecorded bout.

She banged on a good deal longer, and I said mm-hmm, uh-huh, and watched Kotai dancing around the ring, his perfect, hairless torso glistening with sweat, his muscles moving fluidly beneath the surface.

She called me a typical ‘macho geci’. (Geci is Hungarian for cum--it's a very rude, crude thing to call someone, as you can imagine, but it kind of cracks me up.) I said good-night and closed the door of the sitting room. That’s where I sleep, and it was getting late, and we had to be up early for our Sunday morning excursion.

That’s when she shat on me, rhetorically at least. And then I heard her in the kitchen cussing me out. So I closed the dining room french doors into the sitting room as well. That was funny. I knew that would get her.

There was silence, and then some minutes later she knocked, and I said, yes? She stood in the doorway and told me there was a Hungarian saying about nursing a snake at one’s breast, or something. The essence of it was that here you were nursing what you thought was a babe, and you look down and it’s actually a snake at your breast.

I said, mm-hmm. Not looking from the TV, of course, lest I miss a glimpse of some sinewy spot on my boy Mihály (the Hungarian commentators called him Misi, of course).

I was like, that’s an interesting saying. Thank you for sharing a part of your language and cultural heritage with me. Good-night!

She left and came back in a few minutes later, kissed me on the cheek, and went to bed.

I waited till around nine to shoot my wad. I came just as they stopped the fight momentarily to tend to a gash above Kotai’s left eye. The blood was gushing out, his face and chest was slathered in it. It was very erotic. He went on to win, but only by a hair. In truth, it was not a spectacular fight. It did the trick, anyway.


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