I am alone this weekend, and thus I have the house to myself. I celebrate by walking around in a pajama all day, and leaving books all over the place. There must be a trail of half-read books going from my spot here in the sofa to the kitchen, and then upstairs. Like a crumb trail.
There are also mugs everywhere. Two on the desk in the office. One here. One upstairs on the night table. I really should wash them and put them away – but Mark is away until Sunday, and I have plenty of time. I don’t plan to do anything extensive until then.
The books I’ve spread all over the place are, mainly, by Terry Pratchett. If you haven’t heard, he passed away yesterday. Which is a huge loss to everyone that’s ever read any of his books. He was a sharp observer of human absurdity, and while exploring often pretty dark themes in his writing, he never became a cynic.
Before leaving for his parents, Mark and I tried to agree on which was his best book. My favourites were Lords and Ladies and Small Gods. His favourite was Monstrous Regiment. It surprised me that he had a favourite, because Mark isn’t one to read books. Not that kind of books. He eats non-fiction, manuals, technical writing. Not so much fiction.
I have one week left of being a teenager. After, it’s all down-hill. I should get the hearing aid and the walking stick already, and practise my best old-man’s voice for when I shout to the kids in the street to get off our lawn.
Like I said before, I am fairly certain that Mark has something in mind, but I haven’t been able to wheedle anything out of him. He has avoided all my leading questions and logical traps. Sometimes, just sometimes, Mark is more stubborn than I am.
Elsewhere I talked a bit about how university life and later widens the age span on one’s friends, and with that in mind I sent a mail to Spence – my oldest friend. I received a reply an hour later where he promised to come down and welcome me to my new status as a grown-up. As usual, I suspect that term was laden with sarcasm.
Also, earlier, Mark and I returned to a topic that we’ve discussed many times before. Children. It’s something we’ve always brushed aside because it’s not suitable for us now. We’re too young, I feel, and we’re not ready. I have a feeling, after our talk, that we have decided that when we finish our degrees, we should have a kid. Whether that actually happens is dependent on a lot of factors, of course. It’s easy to say now; another to actually do it in a few years time.
But, deciding, whether it is half-hearted or not, is a big thing, you know. It has been unspoken until now. He has always wanted kids, several of them. A football team of them. I just want one. Or two. Suitably spaced apart for minimum fuss and maximum convenience. I think that he dreams about being a dad, and since we’re both gay it’s always been out of his reach. No matter how enthusiastically we try to defy nature, none of us can have babies. Right? Medical miracles are not that advanced. Yet.
My instinct is to wait past thirty, but Mark’s instinct is to get the first as soon as possible. So, we compromise, all the time when we talk like this. We’ll get our first when we have our Masters. We should be around twenty-four then. Four years from now. In two years we’ll have our bachelor’s, and then two more years to get our masters degrees.
What is the best about the decision is how warm and fuzzy it makes me feel, because obviously Mark sees a long future with me. He makes these plans without the slightest hesitation that I’ll be there too. It’s a solid assurance that we’re it for many years to come, and that’s what feels good.
For one who is so afflicted with doubt sometimes, that absolute assurance feels fantastic. I just hope that I don’t screw things up. I want to spend all my time with him, still, even if I don’t trust myself not to be stupid sometime. What a blend of misery and joy that is; the warmth from my toes to my scalp that he’s mine forever, and the thousand little stab wounds in my heart that I’ll ruin this. Somehow. Sometime. Somewhere. I’m not always sure I actually deserve all this, but by dog I’ll fight to keep this.
And then, in a few years time, maybe we’ll become a bigger family. With a kid. Maybe I’ll be more sure. Maybe I’ll be a better dad than mine was. I hope so. But what if that’s programmed into you? What if all I have is the manual that dad showed me? What if I follow those recipes because that’s all I have? What if there is, in twenty-five years time, someone who sits writing something like this, swearing to be a better dad than I was? That he or she wouldn’t make the mistakes I did?
Food for thought.