Troutie, sex and Fishmarkets seem to go together like chips with salt and vinegar. We are inextricably linked, destined always to be nestled together through the twists and turns of fate.
Remember the guy who left me unsatisfied to go to the fish market to buy prawns for his Auntie? Well, at least my current lover has the decency to satisfy me before he fucks off to buy stinking kippers.
Let me enlighten you:
Bushman works in a Caribbean restaurant in North London. Sometimes he has to do the market fish run. This involves him leaving the house at around 4 am and reaching back home around seven. Serving others during sociable hours means that his own hours are quite unsociable; often arriving home after midnight and not coming to bed until one, two or even three am – and that’s if he doesn’t fall asleep on the sofa.
Our ships-in-the-night lifestyle is quite frustrating. I always complain that we don’t spend enough time together. In my waking hours I often demand that he should kiss and hug me when he comes to bed, despite the fact that when the time comes I am actually snoring my way through another encounter with Jon Bon Jovi or coming nineteenth in a hotel beauty competition.
Although a gentle giant on the whole, like most men, Bushman can be a bit bull-in-a china-shop. He’ll swagger into the bedroom at 2am shouting “Wha gwan?” (meaning in English "Hi!") - which is his usual greeting, when what I want him to do is to nuzzle into my ear, caress me gently as if I were a a fragile snowflake and tell me that he loves me. These mismatched ideas often lead to confrontation as I am one hell of a bitch in the night.
In the old days I couldn’t often be woken and if I was I would curse him, “Do you have to fucking shout at me?", with all the sleepy stroppiness of a diva and then fall back asleep. These days I’m barely sleeping so although his “Wha Gwan?” is usually still met with some resistance I am really already in some form of wakefullness.
Naturally, with the onslaught of advanced pregnancy, sleep is becoming more troublesome. Pillows between the legs, one somersaulting baby girl, one tossing and turning whale of a woman, toilet breaks, the heat, the relentless whirring of the fan to keep me cool, the constant sirens of all three emergency services, the burglar alarm of the mobile phone shop and the intermittent beeping of the pelican crossing, are all designed to keep me awake and send me crazy. This was the case last night/morning which also happened to be fishmarket morning.
When Bushman goes to the fishmarket he doesn’t sleep and get up early, he simply stays awake until 4am. Deep down this is the time he would like to chat to me and put the world to rights and spend quality time together (mainly because he has nothing better to do). My shiny black granite stone man, the one who is usually as silent as your kitchen worktops (if you’re posh enough to have granite worktops) wants to ‘chat’ between the hours of 2 and 4am.
And so it was this morning. At 2.30 he swaggers into the room, leans in close to me, grabs my shoulder and says “Wha’ Gwan?”. I complain that he has woken me although this is not strictly true.
The trouble is we spend so little time together that once awake I feel like I should make use of the time even though I know that I will hate everybody and everything with intense passion, come morning, when I have to get up for work.
This morning after a suitable period of coming round I say to him, thinking aloud.
“See now you’ve woken me up and I can't get back to sleep so I feel like I should be doing something useful like having sex but it’s just soooooo much effort.”
Now, you see, the thing is, that if a man said that to a woman he would never hear the end of it.
"What do you mean effort? Oh, that's nice, now I'm effort...."
But a woman says that to a man and he just thinks “Did she just say sex? Great!”
Of course sex during the later stages of pregnancy is no simple affair. It’s not your kind of roll over, missionary malarkey. It’s a shapes matching exercise. Your stomach is convex, their stomach is also often convex (unless you are with some flat-stomached Adonis under thirty) and you have to get yourself into all sorts of funny positions just to get your genitals even remotely close to one another.
When it was all over Bushman pulled on his clothes and left the house. We had officially had fishmarket sex. Naturally it took me another hour to fall asleep. It was 5am when I finally slept and my alarm goes off at 6.45. I had enjoyed a total of 4 hours sleep.
I really did make a concerted effort to go to work this morning. I got up, showered put on make-up and even left the house a few minutes early, heaving my enormous, unsteady body up the road. But, when I remembered that I needed to top up my oyster card and found my purse missing I caved in, sloping off home knowing that once inside that door I would not be leaving again.
“Hi there, this is Troutie I won’t be coming into work today as I’ve been having fishmarket sex which has resulted in general fatigue due to lack of sleep and back pain (appropriately known in pregnancy as pelvic girdle pain) due to the athletic positions one needs to adopt during sex in the later stages of pregnancy. See you Monday – goodbye!”
By the way, my house stinks of kippers.