When all a loving couple have is the blurred line between love and hate
I have seen some relationships suffer all kinds of storms, including boxing matches and car chases.
There are some who insist their love is strengthened by regular bouts of kick ass and some stab wounds.
The acceptance of pain and suffering in the body of love is a narrative that leaves me shivering. Such incidents are so common we use endearing terms to mask their combative nature - a lover's tiff. A tiff with blood, stitches and psychological trauma?
There are times when both parties to a relationship are perpetrators of violence, the couples that we neglect because we accept that escalating every misunderstanding to a physical fight is in their nature.
We stop the interventions and hope they will eventually call the police, as usual. We passively reassure them that they are normal.
Such passionate lovers find more fire when paired with their kind. In most cases, they find each other and enjoy each other. Absolutely.
They crave the violence and would rather throw phones at the wall than enquire verbally about that text. Theirs is a frequent test of energy, a need to show love by strength and destruction. They serve the backhand like Serena Williams, on your face, just to ask a question!
Evident to this - love that triumphs through blow by blow - is a cousin of mine who I personally witnessed bearing two gaping wounds on his tongue, an injury that rendered him unable to speak for a good two weeks.
He was unable to tell how he sustained his injuries. A tale that was both comedic and tragic. He and his baby mama are no strangers to drama and scandal, and beat each other till at least one bleeds. This one day, the bickering escalated to kung fu proportions. Theirs would be prolonged matches of screams, scratches and damage to property.
I had always wondered how he always came out with not a single dreadlock missing from his head after the rumbles.
On this particular day, the lovers decided there shall be no referee. They locked themselves in an RDP house that has only one door. Perfect! Then all hell broke loose, including windows and some dishes and her nail.
The neighbours couldn't care less of course. See, in any neighbourhood, good neighbours have a threshold for such behaviour. They will break the fight once, maybe call the police on occasions when an elder insists. Some will even throw you in the back of their car and rush you to the local clinic when they see blood.
Then one day, they will just peep though their lace curtains and say "sebeqalile ke futhi..." (there they go again).
It hadn't been long into the barrage when my cousin walked out crying and seemingly holding his jaw. Only, his jaw was intact. And so were his long sleek dreadlocks of course. The casualty was his tongue.
He was bleeding profusely from two deep gashes at the back of his tongue. She had bitten him. Yes, on the tongue. I remember wondering "how the hell did she put her teeth in your mouth? During the fighting!"
I guess they stopped the fist-throwing fit to kiss. Because they love each other after all. My cousin and his tongue-twisting babe are still together. I can never accept that it is in the nature of love to want to peel skins off each other. If it were so, I would have to accept I have never truly loved.
However, not everyone finds the strength to end a violent relationship. Most endure the passion and the pain. We watch and scorn them through our curtains for disturbing our peace. Eventually, we just let them feel normal.