Sunday morning woke up to a bright day. This kind of weather everything seems new and fresh made. It was warm enough that I shucked off the doona in the night to sleep beneath the sheet only. When I got up I pulled on a pair of shorts and that was enough. I was up in time to see the end of the Wallabies beating England from Twickenham. I fed Rigby and made myself a coffee and sat watching the post-match stuff, before heading back to bed to read yesterday’s newspaper by the sunlight, Rigby stretching out beside me.
I was content, but there felt a missed opportunity. Rigby and I are quite the team these days. He looks to me for everything, and I take comfort from his fond companionship. Still, it’s not the same. How easy it would have been, and how satisfying, to reach over to my lover, my girl, my woman, to whisper to her my wry and encouraging affections, and to start the day with a long, slow Sunday fuck.
You feel that. I feel very much that man still, even if my life is not that now or for years now. I feel fit, even though I’m not really – I tried to kick a footy yesterday, and couldn’t, because of my hernia. I look fit in any case, and strong and youthful still despite the years getting on. Virile. That’s how I feel, but when have I not? In any case it’s at the forefront these moments, the waste of a good man.
On Friday the temperature approached 30 and I spent a long 2 hours mowing an overgrown lawn. I pushed the mower around the yard feeling it in my shoulders after a while, the perspiration gathering on me. I was in shorts and t before just stripping back to just my shorts. I felt the sun burn on me. My face coloured with it. Once more the term that came to mind was satisfied.
There is something about doing physical labour of that type which is rewarding. Domestic labour most of all. I don’t do it much because in the last 10 years I’ve lived in rented accommodation, and because I’ve not really been in a domestic situation. At the end of it the lawn was shorn, and I felt that pleasant tingle of well founded physical use.
I rewarded myself with a beer, and cooked a steak I’d been marinating for a late lunch. I sat out in my newly tidy backyard eating at the outdoor table I inherited from my mother. Rigby sat by my side looking up at me with keen eyes and drooling mouth as I happily consumed the tender steak.
It was quiet. Earlier in the day I’d been playing some Sufjan Stevens. Earlier I’d caught a part of the grand final parade on TV. Now I was outdoors and the sky was dazzling blue and all around me the neighbourhood seemed in a spell of contented plenitude. At that moment I was at its epicentre.
I was sweaty still, though I’d put my shirt back on. My legs were flecked with cut grass. After lunch I would shower and get myself ready for drinks with Cheeseboy later. But for now I sat there, the king of my castle.
And yet as I did so the thought occurred to me, similar to this morning, about how all of this good vibe was wasted, or at least was not complete. What if I shared these moments with someone other than Rigby? I could imagine sitting at the table grimy still from my work across from that woman I imagined, sharing not just the meal and a cold drink, but easy and contented conversation. All of a part, the pieces fit together as if tailor-made. Simple, but good.
For practical reasons I’ve studiously avoided any semblance of a relationship for years now. There have been occasions when it has encroached upon me unbidden, teasing me with the possibilities. Part of me has been tempted, but ultimately that other part of me tugged in the other direction.
One of the things I’ve realised lately is that really I should get back in the game. That really I might need it. It’s a hard road I’ve been toiling on, and much harder toiling on it alone with no-one to talk to or seek comfort with. They’re the reasons I’ve avoided a relationship – embarrassment yes, at my situation, but more substantially because I did not want to impose my situation on someone else. It seemed unfair, and unmanly.
That I have begun to change my thinking on that is not simply because I so keenly feel the need. I don’t know if I see myself much different from before, but there is a different emphasis. I have little to offer in concrete terms, which always dominated my perspective. What I overlooked is that I have so much more to offer in other ways.
I could reel off a list of qualities – I think am legitimately a good man, strong, smart, engaged, thoughtful, interesting, funny. It feels more basic than that now. I’m a man, not unattractive, in possession of most of the manly virtues, virile as fuck, and as resolute as a shard of rock standing amid a roiling ocean.
I know women. I always know women, even if I have held them at arm’s length. As I reflect on this I doubt the women I know fit into this picture. Reality might seem different now, but I remain a striver. That’s my type. A creator, a builder, a searcher. It’s death to me and poison to my attitude to settle and be complacent. I have nothing to look back upon with satisfaction, but even if I did, I couldn’t. I need someone who will continue to search and create with me. Look ahead, always.
In a minute I’ll cook my breakfast eggs. I’ve foregone my usual Sunday morning routines (it’s the weather) of the Insiders, followed by the Offsiders. I would like to cook for two, a part of our arrangement, our unspoken understanding, a long, slow Sunday morning fuck followed by a cooked breakfast and comfortable, knowing conversation.
Well, I put it out there. I’m a man, more than most, come and share.