It was that time again, so yesterday we had a blistering row that went on for three hours, until we were too cross and too exhausted to do anything more concrete than scowl at each other across the house. Thankfully, there were walls between us, or the daggers our eyes shot would have drawn blood.

It wasn’t the type of argument where one of us starts to pack his things and move out. Just the release lightning discharges which has built up since the last time. But they always leave me drained, and they always makes me question our joint sanity. What was the point of it all? It seems that we, along with everyone else, must have these not so fun episodes.

While we are two hairless apes, I’d like to think that we’re reasonably intelligent, and that we should see through these animal exchanges of dominance and submission that hairless apes are prone to.

Mind over matter? Reason over emotion? Intelligence over brute strength? It never stops us when we get into these things. This is one reason I think that the hairless ape is not so removed from his animal nature as I’d like to think.

What I would worry about, though, is if he ever stopped being huggy after, when the mood passes. It’s almost worth it to have him come to me with sad puppy eyes, saying he doesn’t want to be angry anymore, and basically cling to me for an hour. That’s also the hairless ape; diffusing tension through touching and grooming. I do the same, don’t I?

One of the peculiarities of our version of picking flees out of each others fur is science. Mark has read a lot about paleoanthropology lately. It is his sanity check since he’s being run quite ragged over maths. He has tute-sheets everywhere. The kitchen overflows with them, and the sofa table. When he wants to get away from that, he has started to read books about paleoanthropology, or about dinosaurs, or history.

This obsession resurfaced when he read a book I bought years ago, about the intrepid Mary Anning, the mother of paleontology. Because she was a lower class woman, a lot of bushy-browed men have written her out of the scientific history books. Her finds adorned the apex of many male careers in the 19th century. It’s only in the late 20th and now in the 21st that her name has started to resonate. That’s what he’s reading about now. It was only in 2010 that the Royal Society included her in the top ten female contributors to historical sciences.

That was our day yesterday: from shouting at each other to snuggling together over a book about a woman who died in 1873. If you ask me, that’s not – all things considered – necessarily a bad thing.

The alternative could have been me out at five a.m. drunk and miserable after having had no luck with some date at the club. So, by all standards, yesterday could have been a lot worse than it was. Not that I want everyday to be like it though… It’s too bloody exhausting to spend three or four hours getting to that point.

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