I Married a Yeti
Let me be clear, she was a hot Yeti, leaning against the kauri bar top, her green eyes tragically
but hotly assaying another tragic Saturday night. How could this not be right? She was so louche,
so filled with the alpine sadness of the Himalayan. An apprentice douche, I approached,
groping for my scabbard and found a mouse stammering about fur, height and loneliness.
I wasn’t looking for a spouse. ‘Promise you won’t mention me to the presshh,’
she slurred through yellow teeth. Bam! I was falling off Everest, mentally undressing.
That first night, we got super-lit, but no kissing.
What’s it like to date a Yeti? Crazy. Crazy-awesome! She broke rules, especially her own.
She was completely at home with pandemonium. Until then I’d believed that beauty
was uniformity. Yet without warning her eyes would flood if I mentioned Deng Xiaoping.
She also hated shopping. She was my goad, my antagonist, my conscience, my pal,
scandalising my old life, making strife cool. I started lying to everyone I’d met before her,
even when she hadn’t asked me to. This is how one ceases to be two.
It matters who you love. She French-kissed me beside an optometrist’s, much later than I wanted,
Felt like I’d been drunk for weeks.
My folks? Not exactly ‘like’ at first sight. ‘That Yeti’s trouble,’ Mum scowled.
I said, ‘Her name is Oriane, actually.’ It wasn’t. It was Sally
I was in far too deep already.
I remember afternoon light purpling on our bedroom wall, the way she cranked her fork like a spanner,
the certainty our yearning wasn’t merely an elaborate fetish for the exotic. Her family?
Both parents working. Two brothers on anti-psychotics.
But Yeti culture does everything that we do wrong, right. Big dinners, inside jokes,
meaningful pauses at the mention of marriage. The old man aside, they welcomed me with open arms.
One time after sel roti, Papa ushered me to the garage, on the pretense of showing off a Toyota
Celica he’d been rebuilding. He confided how when Sir Ed, and Tensing fell asleep in the snow,
his cousin Trevor had carried them both to the summit. They were bullshitters,
and I knew it. But I was in love.
That first time… we’d missed our bus by a whisker. I got the text from the boss
I’d been expecting for weeks: Sorry, bye. Some smart-mouthed kid shouted,
‘Oooh look, Magilla Gorilla!’
Only when I’d finished,
did I realise she’d been holding him by the neck. It was like outside Specsavers,
but much, much more real.
Others back down, I double down. I can’t blame her. I blame me.
Blame became a spree. We made it legal at the registry,
out-committing Bonnie and Clyde, who never married.
She wore chartreuse to satirise the patriarchy,
crying all the way home in the taxi. Watching Blockhouse Bay Road unwind, bawling,
I no longer heard the love of my life,
I heard a Yeti, henceforth exiled from her own, begging me never to leave.
The fare was an exorbitant 19 bucks. We should’ve taken an Uber like I said at the time.
Also, she was pregnant.
Man, did we get busy after that. Alt-right dropkicks catfished from Tinder,
Climate change deniers seeking discreet, fun adventures, guys in swannies
swanning in from the West on trains. Blood isn’t so hard to wash off, but brains…
Thanks to us, a dying city paper’s circulation revived.
We made the TV news 14 different times. Everyone wanted more.
Always, always, we were one step ahead of the law,
as justice usually is. You’re reading about me and a Yeti, and the right side of history.
Does that explain the smashed-out window on the 27th floor of the SAP building,
or the AR-15? Partly so, partly not. Hit twice, only the leg. Nothing serious,
though the security guard’s tie is way too tight of a tourniquet.
Cop negotiators have been trying. They put Mum on the AOS megaphone, crying.
It’s Aramoana in Queen Street, the full King Kong.
My Bonnie? Goneburger. Said she’d meet me on the 14th floor.
Had to kill some pigs at the back door.
She surrendered while I waited, like a muppet.
I’m weeping now, thinking of our unborn half-Yeti kid,
the world it will inherit, filled with liberties we slew to remit
to their future. I remember her old man wiping down the Celica,
the unsubtle interplay of Toyota white, and red racing piping.
‘Sally’s your problem now,’ he said, ‘I brought her out of Nepal, for you.’
No. Ultimately we’re alone; random arrangements of destiny, and chaos.
He brought her here so I could bring us to truth.
… ricocheting 9 mm bullets recalls rain against the tin roofs of my provincial youth…