So today I find out that my phone automatically stores WhatsApp picture and video statuses in some hidden folder. This I see while backing up my phone on the work PC. Now some of these pictures are very much NSFW – coz some of my peeps are very…uhm…liberated with their bodies. As a general rule I do not keep such libertine pictures – even on the rare occasion that they were sent for the washing of my eyes so to speak. This because I am very liberated with my phone – anyone who asks can access it. And the truth is I cannot account for what the next person may or may not do with such images, and I have been on the internet long enough to know that it is not a safe space for a woman’s body. So when I do get such I look, commit to memory, then delete. Which is always a good tact; coz I remember back when I had a camcorder my lover and I would record our lovemaking, then make a proper film of it (I am not too bad a film editor) and proceed to watch it. It is great afterplay that becomes foreplay. But this is not our world; so after watching (and doing) the thing a couple of times we’d delete the movie – which was good coz both the camcorder and laptop were eventually stolen.
But now these images and hidden folder are making me panic for another altogether improbable reason: I feel the need to defend myself against the charge of being a sexting cheat (ala Jeff Radebe) from my non-existent tjhobolo of a wife (coz ke monna ya lokileng and Moloi asserts that our kind attract dihepe). I find myself on a thick leather Gomma Gomma couch I am still paying for three years later, bought against my better judgement and budget but to quell the sniggering and snide remarks against the Mr Price Home sofa. On my left sits the said wife, in a purple mink onesie – which is actually mine but apparently it’s too feminine and “ena ha a nyala gay” so she annexed it. “We” are watching ‘Sunday rachet TV’. I say “we” because I am compelled to be here as I never want to spend quality time with her.
“Babe there’s live band at the Botanical Gardens on Sunday evenings, great winter picnic set up, every couple gets their own fire,” I offer, “We can even wear matching onesies,” I tease.
“Can’t you just be normal for once!” she counters. So I succumb to imposed quality time and DMF it is. I am allowed to have my MacBook with – a compromise after a protracted “but baby you also on Twitter throughout the shows” struggle. The said MacBook, bought with proceeds from some short story included in a big publication, is the concrete proof of my selfishness – I already had a laptop, whereas she was dying to have the R7000 knee-high boots from Aldos. “I have nothing to wear,” she cries rummaging through tons of shoes. I swallowed hard and clicked check-out. Two days later the MacBook is delivered. Eight months later I haven’t heard the end of it. So we sitting on the expensive couch, her in my cheap comfy onsie, me in the slippery expensive silk masculine PJs she bought me for my birthday, watching TV. To distract myself I backup my phone on the computer, and sort the pictures accordingly. I go into a strange unknown folder:
Lots of pictures therein, with strange file names like “c79abc4794c62a8ab3f86c05a3af36e2.jpg”. None of them have thumbnails. So I double click on one. Lo and behold, in full colour UHD, a Pulanesque shot of a lady I hardly have any contact with dominates the screen. I am bowled over. I may even gasp. Of course the missus does not miss it. She however does not ask the question gnawing at my soul: “WTF?” No she has no time for curiosity. “I knew it!” She screams. “You bastard!” A barrage of mink covered slaps rains on my back. I hunch over the laptop instinctively to protect it – who knows when the philistine publishers will recognise my genius again. But objectively it looks like I am protecting the nudie. Which obviously makes matters worse. Now the violence ends and right on cue begins the weeping; “I knew it…I knew it.”
I am just sitting there scared and scandalised – I know nothing. Knew nothing. Objectively it looks like I am a dere caught in headlights. “Why Mpho why!” she turns to my shivering face, tears well up in my eyes – she may be an abusive psychopath but I love her, seeing her hurting pains me to no end. I am completely defeated. So I utter the most banal, trite words in what has now become of my humdrum of a life: “Baby I’m sorry.”
No but this phone must behave also – where does one change this setting?