While it is I who is the four-eyed artsy geek in this household, Mark does live up to the cliché of the guy that walks through life with ink stains on his shirt, leaked from the pens in the pocket there.
The truth is, he is a walking contradiction. He is like Clark Kent; the awkward journalist who step into a phone booth and slip into something that will display the bulging biceps better than a tweed blazer.
Mark can come home with ink spots on his shirt and push imaginary glasses further up his nose, and then half an hour later he wrestles shirtless with a car engine outside in our little driveway, with muscles straining in the evening sunshine. Yes, he is a contradiction.
While I am always the odd artsy geek that drop strange references to poems and books I’ve read, from the moment I wake up until I go to bed, it is he who has this dual nature. Geek and hunk, awkward and sexy, silly and deep, transparent and inscrutable.
Sometimes he is the most annoying person that has ever existed, and then sometimes he’s the most beautiful being that’s ever walked the earth. Living with him, as I do, the best part of it is that I never quite know which side I’ll see.
“We’ve been sulking for too long,” he said to me this morning. “I think we should drive somewhere, and get lost. Hmmm?” And then we just loaded the Toyota with food and drink and headed into the countryside, and saw the England that we both love.
The England of lonely oaks shading a rolling hill, with an awkward wind that wants to upend our picnic. The England of green grass, the sea as a grey sliver at the horizon, and cattle grazing inside stone walls. The England of a man in tweed and with a walking stick on a winding road by a slow-moving river.
We have been sulking for too long about things we can’t do anything about, and it’s good to be reminded of that. And, not to sound too twee, that we’re together. Me the awkward forever artsy geek, and him the alternating hunk-geek who is the most beautiful thing in the world at the moment.