If you have indulged me with readership for any length of time, then you know, for certain fact, that my husband is absolutely insane.
It bears repeating.
Most of the time, he’s a happy sort of nut. He dresses up in costume–primarily as a dinosaur (dino), crocodile (croco), or godzilla (zilla). He creates massively imaginative projects–as with his Dead Cartoon Network smash hit Adventures of Birds. And he engages in purposely wild acts of eccentricity.
Most recently, he bought up a hundred model Rubicon jeeps and decimated them by drowning in a shallow stream, working out whatever angst he still harboured over Caesar’s crossing into treasonous territory. And he filmed it all. While wearing a zilla-tail and shouting like a newscaster about the humanity of the thing and oh the horror and dear god won’t someone please tend to the scene.
But then there are other times where his crazy goes in the opposite direction.
He never means for this to happen, to be sure. These are the moments that spring from misunderstandings over custom, modernity-inappropriate behaviour, or lingering militarised aggression and corresponding worldviews. These moments require a lot of psychological untangling on his part, and a great deal of patience and support on mine. Because they are often so tender and traumatic, at their core, I rarely mention them. Marc is a man who requires context and consideration.
Two weeks ago, though, something happened that I believe expresses the depths of his occasional psychosis without creating him as some sort of monster.
Besides, he thinks it’s hilarious, and bid me share it…
It was the afternoon, and Marc was outdoors drilling. He drills every day, and I go through periods when I observe (leather, thighs, shoulders, please) and when my pacifism overcomes me and I must refrain. This particular afternoon, he was on his own, and I’d taken to the sofa with a book and a spot of tea.
The door opened.
And there was Marc with a SWORD THROUGH HIS EYE.
As in, his gladius somehow shattered, ricocheting the tip through his eye, and instead of ghostly magicking it away, as would have been sane, he determined it would be a better course of action to come into the house and show me.
‘Look Elias!’ he throws out his arms in weird triumph ‘is sword eye!’
I’m over the back of the couch in recoil at this point. Tea’s on the floor, book’s in the air, heart’s in my throat. My legs are taking me as far away from this madman as possible.
Then I remember that this madman–this creature dripping blood onto the rug from a SWORD WOUND IN HIS FACE–is my husband. So, my brain catches up with my legs and reverts me back toward him.
I’m not squeamish. I’m really not. I don’t like when people vomit, but I can very well handle just about anything else.
But, you know, I’d never seen a man pull a sword out of his eye before, severing and popping the eye out along with it.
I hit the ground before I even knew I was fainting.
It was a quick faint. Just a sort of temporary fog that ended in that vomit act I hate so much, and then I was working my way up the wall, with the intention of strangling the ever-loving-shit out of Marcus.
The eye. The eye on the shard of sword.
He’s handing it to me, and for some unknown, shock-riddled reason, I take it from him while he casually unties my cravat and STUFFS IT IN HIS EYE SOCKET to stem the flow of blood.
I pitched forward again, caught the edge of the entry-way table, and landed in Marc’s arms. I remember him looking down at me in surprise–with his good eye; the other waving blood-stained lawn as he shook his head–and then I was out for good.
When I woke up…Lord, twenty minutes later?, he’s perched on the edge of the bed holding my hand and wearing an eye patch. Because of course he wouldn’t just fix the damn eye when he could pretend to be a pirate for a spell.
He grimaces at me, pats my chest, and says, ‘I am be sorry about sword eye.’
‘Really’, I say. ‘You’re sorry for announcing a mortal wound like some sort of fucked up party trick.’
And later, when I checked my mobile and discovered a cascade of outrage, he was fake sorry for texting all of our mates a picture of the carnage, #swordeye.
I add my own apologies to the group text.