Later that evening, Roderick had yet another drink at a bar near home in attempt to escape the bickering with Madelaine.
The thought crossed his mind: I’m glad to get out of there, away, from that woman.
Roderick had had just about enough.
It was his fourth double brandy and Coke. The drinks made him feel full, but he hadn’t eaten anything.
He didn’t care about the police. They couldn’t catch him. In any case, he could drop a name if they threatened to arrest him.
He had been worrying about his relationship with that bitch, Mads, for months. Fuck that woman! She was a pain in the arse. But, he realised that he must not let anyone know the problems around the marriage. That’s the thing to do. Keep quiet about it.
“Another double and Coke, Sammy,” he said to the Indian barman.
He looked around. Bitches were not allowed in a Men’s Bar. This was an all-white, all-male bar. The blacks, Indians and coloureds had their own places to drink and get pissed. Just as I do, he thought. Somewhere to drown my misery.
Later, after a few more drinks, Roderick wobbled to the car. He fumbled for the keys in his pocket.
Now, where did I put those keys? Fuck! He thought to himself. He felt as if he was going to throw up. A retching sound rumbled out his belly, but it wasn’t accompanied by any food. Another retch and the bile filled his mouth. Fuck.
He waited for what seemed like hours, but the bitter taste of vomit only fouled his mouth. It never spread beyond that.
Aiming the key at the lock, he got it in on his fourth attempt.
He brazenly chose the main road en route home. It was 9.30pm and it was a clear, star-lit evening.
I must concentrate, or I’ll kill somebody, he thought to himself.
One or two cars came in the opposite direction.
He thought he saw a blue light in the distance. There it was again. He approached it way too fast and had to stop with a squeal of the tyres as he pulled up a couple of car lengths beyond the white cop.
Roderick opened his window wide. He could see the cop coming from behind his car and then he was there at his window.
“Good evening, officer.” His greeting sounded fine by his standards. His eyes had adjusted to the intermittent flashing of the torch, and he saw that it was a cop he’d met at a party a few weeks previously.
“You were driving way too fast.”
“Sorry, officer. I met you at a function a few weeks ago.”
“Yes, I remember now. What’s your name?”
Roderick wished that the police officer would not point that torch in his face. It was blinding him. “James Roderick. And you are?” He thought that he’d better try to be as civil as possible.
“Officer Smit.” The cop hesitated as though he was going to say something, but he said instead: “Drive carefully, Mr Roderick.”
That was fucking lucky, James thought to himself.
A starving James arrived home to little Kate’s wailing and a furious wife.
“Is this the time to come home,” she demanded? “I can smell the drink on your breath. You stink.”
Roderick thought: You fucking bitch. He went upstairs to his room.
James and Madelaine had decided to sleep in separate rooms a few months previously. Rather, it had been her decision. He was starting to regret that, because he could not get any sex elsewhere and she’d denied him the pleasure.
He heard Madelaine shout from downstairs over the little girl’s incessant crying. He couldn’t make out what she said, but he chose to ignore it and quickly fell asleep with a pillow over his head.