The Miraculous Disease

What makes a marriage tick? Honesty, grace, transparency, determination, tact? Or is there something more? I’m tempted to assume the latter…


The flamboyant display of affection and loyalty by Dawson and Arabel, after twenty years of marriage, is a spectacle to behold. They are such a joy to watch. Pretty enviable. Many have wondered how an age disparity of twenty, with the wife the older of the pair, has ended up in a successful union.

To begin with, Dawson goes blind anytime he is touched by an attractive lady. No, this is not a figurative blindness. He actually does not see. Bat blind. He actually feels around for, and runs into things. He recovers his sight only after a few days. Weird, but true. I leave it to you to decide whether this is a good thing or not.

Forty-five year old Arabel had achieved everything in life: a successful career as a lawyer, a businesswoman and a diplomat. Marriage, however, remained elusive. She simply could not find the kind of man who would caress her unique ego. The hallmark of self-actualization had stained her otherwise attractive persona.

Then she fell in love. To none other than Dawson – her twenty-five year old bodyguard. She was hopelessly smitten, faultlessly bagged.

It’s hard to tell what really informs these choices. Love? Was she so desperate? Or was Dawson just too irresistible? Was she running from loneliness, or was he just another objective on her checklist?

The young man had other ideas. He was in for the money. All he needed was her signature on that certificate. Then, he would never have to work another day in his uneducated life again. After about six months of dating, they were legally married.

It was then that Dawson began to show his true colours.

Even before Arabel could conceive, Dawson had begun asserting himself as the boss of the estate.

He spent lavishly. He brought home his homies from the ghetto to occupy the unfilled rooms in the house. Why should one person own a mansion with sixteen overfurnished rooms, when others slept in the open, on the bare floor? They were rather uncouth and messy: There were times goats could be heard bleating across the living room, and different genre of music boomed from several quarters. Cigarette butts littered the house, with the putrid smell of burnt nicotine permeating the formerly distilled air.

He didn’t mind bringing home ladies he’d picked up randomly. And the sex noises they made were in a nutshell, despicable. Gambling too was another issue. They could gamble thousands of dollars away in a single night, over frivolous arguments, such as, which stripper would make it on time that night.

He introduced Arabel to them as his grandmother, or as an aunt, when he wanted to be nice.

They fought every night. Arabel was not happy. The pregnancy on its own was a torment. She just didn’t have the strength to straighten things. Arabel wanted him to show her respect. Dawson felt indignant. To him, he was the one doing her a favour. Old hag!

By the time the triplets were born, he had already resorted to insults and physical abuse. Nothing the old lady ever did could appease him. He had the money. He had the time. He tasted a different wine with a different escort every evening.

Arabel had hoped he’d come around when the children were born. She was gutted. She had given this relationship her all. She meant well. The marriage counsellors she brought in did not know how to go about things (or who to blame). It always ended up with a word of prayer.

Dawson soon become a regular at brothels and bars. He never owed. The ladies flocked to him whenever he stepped out of his car… he was their most generous patron. To him, he had lived through hell in the slums. This was his heaven. Life was all about living in the moment. Get rich or die trying.

But his moment of reckoning came, with a vengeance.

After a heavy dose of whisky one night, at a bordello, he selected one of his favourite sluts and proceeded to do his usual. He never wasted time on hollow words and empty lies. He was a pro, by his guesstimates. But barely had he dropped his pants before the hound of police sirens could be heard all over. Through the window he could see bouncers racing for the exit, and the manager sneaking underaged girls out.

Dawson, was about to pull up his pants and trousers, when the girl beneath him grabbed them.
‘If you don’t pay me, I won’t let you go. We will be arrested together.’
He couldn’t believe her. This little imp. He had already paid in full to the manager. He had nothing on him. The lass held on defiantly, screaming wildly, as though she wanted to be caught.

Dawson watched, in utter dread, as the heavy footsteps from the boys in blue drew nearer, edging closer. He hopped clumsily towards the window, with his unworn trousers bracing his ankles, and with the unpaid call girl dangling along …

He jumped out the window, from the fourth floor of the pub. Mid-air he prayed he would fall into the pool below.

Prayer answering God!…He fell on the hard tarmac, and broke his neck and shoulder, with the pool inches away. He was still arrested, with no trousers, as the little girl had managed to claw them off, before he made the leap.

On the frontpage of a national daily, he stood in handcuffs, alongside several others, wearing nothing but a vest and a ridiculous mohawk. Utterly disgraced.

He spent three months in a hospital and three more in jail.

It was after this episode that his visual affliction began. It did not matter where he found himself or how involved he was with them: Any young lady, who so much as touches him, leads to his blindness; a hug from the tall and gorgeous, he goes blind; a peck from the voluptuous and sexy, he goes blind; a squeeze from the playful and inviting, he goes blind; captivating and innocently revealing, he goes blind; prayerful yet enticing, he goes blind; he even went blind once when a talking Barbie mannequin fell over him at a mall.

Gradually, the young playboy took this to be a message from heaven.

Arabel soon became the only woman in his life. He was more subservient to her than all the servants of the estate, and he played his fatherly roles to a more respectable degree. He washed her clothes, and cars, kept doors opened for her, bathed the babies, and did all the housekeeping. Above all he cleaned up his act, and put his past life behind him.

He follows her to work, and runs her errands daily. He is officially a self-confessed house husband.

He’s been doing this for close to twenty years.

Now, for her, he is the perfect man. For him, she is the only woman, whose touch gives him healing.

Arabel has resumed her role as a world class diplomat, an astute lawyer, a savvy businesswoman, and a successful wife. She is the envy of the above average corporate woman.

Do you honestly think that Arabel would seek treatment for Dawson, if she found out that her husband’s sudden blindness around her rivals, is a disease? Would you have, if you were in her shoes?

– The Miraculous Disease
– A Case of Conversion Disorder
– Inspired by a true story



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