We’ve dropped Tyson and Maki at the in-laws in Melbourne and Archie and Lewis at Aunty Jo’s in Lara and we’re on our way, Tania and I, towards a child-free weekend to celebrate Tania’s 40th birthday. And because this will be the first time we’ve spent two consecutive nights alone together since Archie was born, almost ten years ago, I’m already sporting a relaxed smile and a giggly attitude and enough erection to force my way into a threesome between Donald Trump and the Grollo brothers.
The country side is lush and leafy and tree… um.. eee, and… who gives a shit about the countryside really because here’s my wife beside me, the love of my life, and I want to focus on her like a starving cormorant diving towards the ocean for the glimmer of a fish again and again and again. This weekend is for her and her alone and I’ll be treating her like a Queen, as always, and (as always) without fully admitting it, I’ll be hoping for several female-focused sexual encounters that will leave both of us all floppy and happy and satisfied and me just little bit wincy and sore.
Here comes the first road-sign to signal our destination – Daylesford; a popular retreat for couples and famous for its many mineral springs and day spas and lesbians.
‘Daylesford,’ I say, as I’m Every Woman comes on the radio. ‘Only second in the oh-mumma-don’t-smack-my-bald-head-while-I’m-masturbating-and-eating-whiz-fiz-all-alone prize for “Nuff-Nuff Town Names” behind… um… oh I don’t know… Dwaynesford.’
‘Dwaynesford?’ Tania laughs. ‘Oh my god.’
‘I know,’ I say, as we pass by more scenery and a dead kangaroo and the wind in the Tarago whispers Chaka Kahn in such a fierce way that the last follicles of hair around my ears flicker and break at the stem and fall out. ‘But seriously, how is it possible that Dwayne is actually a name? I imagine a couple sitting under a tree trying to think of a name for their first born child and they run through a few obvious choices like Jack and Oscar and Sebastian and then the man sits up in a fit of inspiration and whispers “What about…. Dwayne?” and the woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, sits up holding her breasts and pouting a little, and looking right into my eyes, says, “Dwayne? Wow. Like Wayne. But with a D in front of it!” And then they imagine their son’s amazingly successful future where he rivals other first name only stars like Madonna and Kylie… selling millions of albums titled, ‘Simply Dwayne’, and unveiling a Dwayne underwear collection that outsells Kelvin Kline, and they even assume a time will come where a high paid model sniffs the armpit of another high paid model backstage at a world fashion expo and says, “Wow, are you wearing Dwayne? Me too!”’
‘Haha,’ Tania says, reaching out to cup my hand, Thelma and Louise style.
‘But I bet there is a town out there in the world called Dwaynesford,’ I say. ‘All it’d take is a man named Dwayne to put two sheets of metal together in the middle of nowhere and to put a little cross with his name on it by the temporary road he’d created by riding his horse and cart back and forth in a state of organic pre-cerebral wonder and BANG: Dwaynesford. The town Dwayne built! All welcome! Bring your own chewing Tabaco! Learn how to liberate yourself from threadworm by dragging your arse across the grass!’
‘You know that Dwayne’s actually a really popular name in African-American culture?’ Tania says. ‘And we grew up with a family friend named Dwayne.’
‘I know,’ I say. ‘I know the story about you family friend named Dwayne. But seriously, that family must be constantly tortured by regret. What were they thinking? DUH-Wayne.’
‘Shut-up,’ she says. ‘He was nice. And be careful, Reservoir Dad. You know what can happen to your actual name in capital letters.’
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ I say.
‘Yes you do Cunt,’ she says. ‘I mean Clint.’
We’re laughing together as another road sign looms telling us that Daylesford and all its child-free sexually based debauchery is only kilometres away and this is magic because here I am with Tania, who’s forty now, and we’re laughing about the same thing; a thing that many people (even people who aren’t named Dwayne) wouldn’t find even remotely funny, and we’ve been doing this for almost twenty years now, inside our cars, inside our house, inside our bedroom, and inside the imaginary walls that we’ve conjured just for us; that are always there, in the way we look at each other, or the way we elbow each other, or the way we lean against each other, wherever we are in the world. And I love her.