My ex-boyfriend, Mark, calls to say he’s got the call that his mum, Maggie isn’t long for the world and he’s coming down tomorrow night. Can he stay?
Ex boyfriends? It’s complicated. They take liberties. They are someone for whom one has to make allowances, long after the ex-boyfriend use by date should rightfully have expired. He is/was the nicest guy I ever met, and we had a thing the likes of which the world had ever seen before – such childish notions that aren’t, weren’t true back then, and aren’t true any longer – but now he sure is trading on past glories. I can’t imagine living in this world without him, even if we aren’t really in each other’s lives any longer very much.
The problem with Mark staying is that he is never in Melbourne because he wants to be, he only comes because he has to, so he isn’t always his best self when he is here and he isn’t always nice to have around. It’s a bit like, I imagine, what it was like having Princess Margaret to come and stay.
He wants me to pick him up from the airport, and we know how I feel about people not catching a taxi from the airport and making it a two way trip instead of only a one way trip. (Even ‘back to me’ David has got that one)
Mark has already told me he has no warm clothes and he’ll have to raid my wardrobe. He’ll complain about the cold, “Your house is always cold.” (Just when the floor heating isn’t working too) He’ll complain about the state of the place, and how it was much better when he was here, despite the fact he never finished the house and I had to have finished the house off over the years. No doubt, he’ll probably tell me that I only have what I have because of him. I love that one. He’ll tell me I am fat. He’ll complain about the bulldogs. He’ll want them put out because they snore. He’ll take it as an insult of the highest order when I am reluctant to put them out (of their house) in the cold. Then he’ll get petulant. He’ll use my car and never put petrol in it. And he will eat whatever he likes in the kitchen without ever cleaning up after himself. And in the end, he’ll leave most likely not having had a good time. He’ll probably say thank you.
My head spun. Mark here in (possible) grief in the middle of winter. Oh yes, that has a good time written all over it. I have enough trouble keeping my anxieties under control at the best of time. Funny to have to write that. Me, who never got stressed about anything. (Of course, that was before I had partners to pick me up on my slackness. Partners want so much from you. They want you to be everything to them, to be strong, capable, clever, and I’m just a person who has never really succeeded at anything)
I don’t want to lose Mark as a friend, but I have to bite my tongue, he is hard work now. He is the best person I know, he is. He was the best person I knew, he was. And now he is older and grumpy and he treats me like... well… it tends to be all take, and very little give. Oh, I’m not sure what I mean. I have ended up in a better place than him, and it is difficult for him. Or, he has ended up in a place he didn’t expect to. (Although, he lives in paradise)
4.50pm. Sam and I take the dogs for a walk.