One of the books that I absolute devoured as a kid. Like any good Swede, I was raised on Astrid Lindgren’s stories.

In Astrid Lindgren’s “The Brothers Lionheart” Jonathan says to the protagonist Skorpan, “There are things that you have to do, even if it’s dangerous. Otherwise you’re not a human, just a little weasel.”. I was thinking about this as my dear mama lectured me about getting in trouble.

I have developed this amazing ability to shut off my ears, I think. When they berate me. It used to make me so annoyed, that. Now, I just let them get it out of their system, and that’s it. Mum had a lot to get out of her system last evening, and I’m waiting for dad to catch his breath to actually call me with his lecture.

I wonder what the indifference about it says about me? Does it say anything at all? I suppose I should be more deferential to people who enable me to stay here, with Mark. Without them, I would be nothing, and have no opportunity to do anything that I’m doing. I’m dependent. I depend on everything from them.

But… sometimes you have to be firm, and not cower in submission. Submission never did anyone any good; all it does is feed some ego-trip for some authoritarian adult. And when I was submissive, I had the two most miserable years of my life. I don’t ever want to be in that position again, and that means that I have to be firm.

There is a line I can’t let people cross. If I do, I’ll be a mouse, and not a man, and it will mean misery and pain if I do. More than getting over the thumping heart and sweaty palms that saying “effing wanker” to someone bring. I think mum gets that, and so her lecture wasn’t too harsh once she heard what it was all about. I doubt dad will be so nuanced when he gives his lecture.

***

Sometimes I wonder if it’s real.

Sometimes I think “why does Mark really stay with me when he could do so much better with someone else”. I was reminded of this fact yesterday, and it made me think about us two again. I still don’t understand why, but I’m sort of happy that he does stay with me. It makes me warm and glowing.

Particularly in those breathless moments when I wake up, and his arm is slung over me, and his hair is itching against my back, and I don’t feel like I want to move because the golden down on his arm is beautiful in the light from the window, and his sleep-breathing puffs warmth against my skin, and I seem like I want to split in two from the pain-pleasure that light me up. It feels almost like a stomach-cramp, except it’s in a good way. No rushing to the loo here.

Then I walk barefoot downstairs to get the tea-kettle going, and it just strike me how lucky I am, and how much I have to lose if life ever decide to shit on me instead of smile on me. Should I feel guilty for having it like this? Is this some form of compensation for the bullying years? But that’s a horribly fatalist idea that mum would sit me down about to sort me out about.

Just two days left until we go to Paris now, and today is a free day. Mark has to go for a few hours, but he has free periods from about eleven, and then we’ll go down to the town centre and do the shopping. Until then I have to think of something to do that does not include over-thinking our relationship like I’m wont to do sometimes.

***

But… In some ways me and Mark are so different as to be like night and day. There are swaths to our lives that the other just can’t comprehend. I’m an upper middle class spoilt brat that has never wanted for anything. He is a middle working-class brat who will be the first generation of his family to go to university.

Sometimes the same words mean different things to us, and communication becomes a problem. That is both a challenge and an advantage, because exploring the differences is fun, and gives new perspectives. Like his reaction to the fact that I was sent home for insubordination yesterday.

To my parents, that is probably a terrible thing. For his parents, it’s a class thing where they paint that teacher in negatives due to his perceived class, and then generalise from that. Except, I belong to the same class, and so the generalisations would fit on me. But since they know me, I’m an exception. The generalities apply to everyone except me.

And so it is with Mark too. Except he’s much more revolutionary about it than me, and wants to erect barricades and sing the International outside my school until that teacher is fired and shamed and outed, whatever good that would do. In some ways, if he wasn’t so anti-social, Mark would make an excellent fire-brand.

***

I started a new story this morning. I shouldn’t because I won’t have time to finish it with all the other things that’s going on, but I did anyway because my writer’s finger have been itching for so long. I want to do something else than school essays. So, I started one. Let’s see how much I can do until I run out of free time. Maybe I should finish this one during the half-term week?

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