He used to love the way she touched him without
really touching him: like when you see
a drop-dead beautiful to-die-for woman from
an incredible afar, and her enigmatic smile and her dark red lips
and her sips of sex slipped beneath laced-up skirt, swishing
lightly below awfully silken blouse, ready to be undone in some
lucky darkened room or other … and all of these things
like collected lockets of love, he used to love so much about her.
But now when she nudges him, it ain’t nice at all.
Now when she nudges him, it’s purely a means to get him to do
her something she refuses to take ownership for: turn up the
heating or turn down the volume or turn off the fan or
just fuck yourself solo because you make me quite ill,
only no one could ever ever take ownership for such a
terrible thought as this.
And if there was one thing that really pissed him out his
trolley, it was people who took it upon themselves to volley through
air and wind and tight breeze a teasing nudging of managing
behaviours: “If you want me to do something, just say it to my
fucking face! And then,” he would respond, “I can actually
choose who to say no to …”
But the universe – his universe – really wasn’t that way, and rather
than peopled by people who might visibly fuck him alive, it was peopled by
people who refused to show their faces, and instead of sexy glances that
might glance off his soul, the only thing he ever knew
was the people who peopled his universe and flatly refused to hate him
in full view of the man he was and the man he’d become
and the man he now rejected he had to revert to.
And if freedom was to be a solitary confinement in a wider world
of loneliness, let freedom commence in its singular way: only do show
your faces, do accept your blame, do recognise that fame
is no guarantor of happiness any more.
And all he ever wanted to be was a man at least his children might
be proud of … a man they could admire some day for the
grander things he might once have done
in some different time.
And whilst he realised by now that his children were grand, his
saddest saddest thought lay in the lap of his spouse:
when life had called him to be a lion of sorts, a mouse is all he had
roared and scurried: and he knew he had failed her, and she was
no longer the woman she might one day have become,
if another life had ridden by and flitted by and allowed him the
pride and enjoyment of being the man
which he knew he could now never be, were he to remain in her lap.