…..Georges Simenon, creator of Inspector Maigret. Otherwise translates as “Being a man is a hard task!”
The guys in Today’s Gallery Selection: ‘Putting in the Gym Hours’ might agree. If you want it, you’ve got to work for it. But that isn’t quite what I had in mind.
Leo is learning fast that being a supporting male to Karla is an exceedingly hard task. She – acrobat and partner with Jaymee for that. Was the apple of Leo’s eye – not so sure now. Her parents are breaking up, very messily, and she is taking it hard. Spends a lot of time round here, including sleepovers – floods of tears, Leo trying to be a supporting male but not wanting to get involved. ‘Are women always emotional like this, dad?’ he asks. In my (admittedly limited) experience as a gay lad, some are, some aren’t. We live with more butch aggressive ones, yes – a lesbian couple, one of whom is Leo’s mum – but absolutely not floods of tears and mooning gloomily around the place. In fact Clare would say she also ‘Man’s up!’, and both I and her partner Karen would agree. Although, when Dave and I finally agreed to father their desired children 15 years ago, there were definitely tears from Clare…
Nor, when I still lived with my parents, did my mum ever carry on that way (but then she is still happily married to my dad!). Leo is torn between liking Karla an awful lot as a potential girlfriend and as a sportsperson, and not at all liking the way she is currently displaying her ‘girlie’ emotional side, especially when he is on the ‘sharp end’ of it. We’re all having to support her as well, which is a bit of a downer really, but she doesn’t seem to want to pass the burden to anyone else.
‘When you get married, do girls still carry on like this? muses Leo. I think that he may be contemplating the batchelor life instead, working out with his mates!
Dave also needs to ‘man up’ a bit. Today, despite the reasonable weather, he has taken to his bed shivering and coughing after a couple of nights with almost no sleep (for either of us). Probably infected by some kid he teaches, we’re all now dreading getting the same thing. But Dave is an awful invalid, especially as he is so rarely ill. My suggestion that he ‘Man up and get stuck into the weights in the yard’ did not go down terribly well. Much as we have all tried to convince him that red-blooded males don’t take to their beds shivering, but get up and get on with life, ‘manning up’ is the one thing he doesn’t want right now.
Right now it is raining, but not too cold. Come Friday though, it is going to hit 30C (85F) and stay there (well, mid-daytime anyway). Not the sort of weather to take to your sickbed in. ‘Man up, Dave’, or I’ll have to cover your coaching and I’ve done quite enough in the past days already!
Meanwhile, there are many things I ought to be doing which I have not started. Not ‘being a man’ things exactly, but I find I am good at making excuses to myself. Life finding an agent who will take my fourth book, for a start. I’ve been dithering, failing to get a response from a British agent, for over six months, and the folks I have already shared the tale with are starting to say ‘What the f*** are you pissing around for, Tone?’ They have a point, but I’ve argued that ‘fixing’ the schedule for the kids’ school vacation activities was somehow ‘more important’. And half a dozen other reasons for putting things off…
Meanwhile, anyone interested in how we lived our lives about twelve-fifteen years ago, discovering our gayness, training acrobatics, getting involved with circus and touring around the world, producing Leo and Jaymee, and then messing up big time with some very unpleasant people, the first three books are here (click on the covers) and also you will find e-books in the usual outlets. Book 4, by the way, has a gay lad as its ‘hero’ but is total fiction and not in the same genre either – I would even call it a tragedy, but we’ll see what a publisher makes of it first.
Maybe it’s not too tough being a man! Just need a bit of focus, I guess.
Now, come to think of it, I feel a bit feverish and ‘not entirely here’. Thanks Dave. Back soon (I hope). Bed suddenly feels attractive at 2pm – but maybe not alongside the coughing and shivering Dave…