CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
“Don’t take this to be the end of your life,” Greg the fertility specialist told me a couple of weeks later when I went back to see him in his office. I would be a liar to say I had any single idea what he had talked about. I looked at his face in my confusion, in search of an expression that could give me a clue as to why he had said those grim words. All I saw was a smile that seemed to say, relax man, don’t get so hard on yourself, this kind of shit happens.
“I don’t understand,” I said, eager to hear more. Greg stood from his seat and threw measured slow steps towards me, his face down, like he was so sorrowful that somebody related to me had died. He got behind me and patted my shoulders in an encouraging way.
“Be strong, Jan, be strong,” he said, deepening my confusion. “It is a strong man that handles whatever mishap he discovers about himself.”
“Is this the language of medicine or philosophy you’re speaking? Are my being tutored by a motivational speaker? What language is this?” I asked at the height of my confusion as to why Greg would be acting weird. Pushed by curiosity and a little bit of angst, I sprang to my feet and turned to face Greg.
“What the hell is wrong?” I demanded. “What did you find?” What followed my questions? A little bit of silence at first, then more silence and more silence. I was looking Greg in the eye now, his right fingers brushing against his goatee. I could see he had suddenly become a man deep in thought, and in a quest on how best to divulge what he had for me. “Spill it, Greg,” I went on to say. “I can take any amount of brick walls that hit me. Tell me what it is! Straight up!”
“I’m sorry,” Greg said and gave me a ‘you’re just so empty’ kind of look.
“I’m HIV positive!” I said, my tone risen. “That’s it!”
“No!” Greg’s reply was swift.
“Hepatitis C! Now I know that’s what you have for me!”
“Okay it must be Alzheimer. Will I be losing all of my memory? Yes, that must be it, Greg!”
“Then we’re talking about syphilis. Do I have that damn thing?”
“Not at all!”
“It must be elephantiasis down there. That’s why you can’t bring yourself to tell me. So is my tea-bag gonna get so obese I won’t be able to walk around? Please don’t tell me no this time.”
“That’s not it!” Frustration and anger had got hold of me now. What kind of a fertility specialist are you? I angrily thought of Greg and made my move when he could not see it coming.
“Now I know it’s cancer!” I screamed and grabbed Greg by his neck. “The type that eats up a man’s testicles like caterpillars feeding on leaves, right?”
“You’re wrong. No cancer can eat your balls, Jan.”
“Then why are you wasting my time and tempting me to strangle the hell out of your tight ass neck and risk going to jail?” Greg started to cough when my grip got so hard on his neck. My anger chilled a little and I let my hands go off his neck. “Nothing is wrong with my nuts?” I asked the moment I let go of Greg’s neck.
“Well,” Greg said as he straightened out his neck and parts of his shirt I had rough-handled. He then went back to his seat and sat down. I turned, now facing Greg, I sat down too and waited to hear more from him.
“Your nuts would have been hundred percent fine if not that they just make you empty,” said Greg. “Without that thing you’re empty.”
“Without what? What don’t I have?”
“It was all empty,” Greg made the chilling revelation. “Just fluid and nothing in it.” It was like a stone had fallen from a place I did not know and had hit my head at jet speed. Sudden fear made my nuts shrivel in the ominous silence that followed. I tried to deceive myself that Greg had actually lied to me. He’s just kidding, I had to tell myself to be strong when the strength I sought like a refugee in search of food, water and shelter, was the very thing deserting me like summer goes away in September. I could not believe my ears. The up was now down. I was trembling.
“You mean there was nothing in all the liquid I gave to Anna?”
“You don’t have it,” said Greg. “You don’t make it. No sperm.”
What the fuck…..? “I’m sorry, Jan, that you had to be in this sort of deep shit,” Greg added.
“So how come I could have three children?” I managed to ask Greg, with all sorts of thoughts jamming into my head in a terrifying barrage that almost made me shriek like a red ass monkey.
“That’s what your ass has to learn, Jan. And I’ve been hoping you would know where to take that question.”
I had home on my mind as I left Greg’s clinic. I wished I had wings like birds so I wouldn’t bother using my car. I was switching to higher gears at random as I drove, honking my horn recklessly, and snarling, “get the fuck out of the way”, to other road users as if the roads were meant only for me. I was a huge portrait of road rage. And I did not give a damn. All traffic regulations were meant to be ignored. The cops? Oh…. the cops. The law and order men and women. Oh…. the cops. Ever loyal servants of the law. I knew their eagle eyes would see me from the highest of heights. I knew someone would call to inform them of a crack cocaine junkie that would be me. I was so messed up to give a fuck about the cops. Home was where I had to be. As fast as my tires could screech. Home was where the answer I sought must be. Nothing else had to matter when I was just a man whose ass was on fire.