Clobbered hard but still loving

I had promised myself to stop the funny side of anything that humiliates or hurts another.

I had promised myself to stop the funny side of anything that humiliates or hurts another.

For quite a while now I have been behaving, methinks, so I suppose a once-off relapse is not too bad.

Years back I knew a woman who was beaten pink and blue - almost daily - by her live-in lover. He hit her so bad that she ended up with a face like a retired, untalented boxer.

What was sad about this once pretty miss is that after each beating, while friends and neighbours were dressing her wounds, she would mutter through swollen lips: "He beats me because he loves me too much ..."

I had forgotten about the silly woman and her sick lover when I ran into an almost similar case of "painful love" in Pretoria North a couple of weeks back.

I did not see the attack but I arrived on the scene to find a scrawny man holding a handkerchief to his bloodied mouth, while being comforted by a friend. It was obvious he had just been beaten up.

He limped painfully and tried to get into a noisy, filthy shop, apparently where he had received the beating. His friend struggled to pull him away, advising him that it was not a good idea.

He insisted on going back, though, saying he would make sure his attacker would do his ablutions.

"Hy gaan kak ... los my," he said, obviously not believing himself. He broke away from his equally drunk buddy and made for the door.

I don't know if he was drunk or if it was the beating that made him blabber the nonsense he was spewing.

He got as far as the door and obviously realised it was not a brilliant idea to go back in. So he pleaded with his assailant from the doorway: "Jy like my. Ek ken jy like my, en jy ken jy like my ook. Askies man. Jy's my pa."

He flashed a blood red smile at the unamused Oriental shopkeeper who ignored him after barking once at him: "Voetsek!"

I left him there, professing his undying love for a man who had just humiliated and hurt him badly.

Much like the songstress of the 1980s who badly misread the mood of her audience. Apparently taking her cue from her American idols, she sang and jived her little heart out but got almost no response from the dour audience.

Just to make sure, she hollered: "Do you love me?"

Tu. Silence.

She asked the mute audience a few more times, and no one screamed in the affirmative.

They simply ignored her.

"Everybody say yeah! Do you love me?"

Still, nothing.

Flustered, she moved on: "Anyway, I know you do. My next song is blah blah blah ..."

Ag, shame. Love hurts.