Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Wednesday, 20 January 2016



I knew what he wanted:
he wanted me.

No; that's too crude.
He wanted a part of me.

Still less: just to use.
No; that's still vulgar.

He wanted to be held
and yet I denied him.

And he could not take it
even though he tried.

So why am I not flattered
that he chose me?

11 November 1986

I don’t have a type. Some men do. Or if I do have a type it’s ‘female’. I like women of all sorts and when I line up all the women I’ve ever had any kind of relationship with or attraction to about the only thing they have in common is that they’re women. Or girls. At the start they were just girls but that was okay because I was just a boy. Even then I was a loyal sort. Between the ages of eleven and fifteen I “fell in love”—let us not debate the expression (I was sincere at the time)—with only two girls and, to be honest, I never really got over either of them. I’m not actually sure I’ve ever got over any of the women in my life. I’ve moved on or they’ve moved on or life made things impossible. Life does that.

What is a surrogate? Nowadays we tend to associate the word with a woman who hires out her womb so another couple can have a child. That’s not what I’m on about here. Because of circumstances F. and I were not able to be together as much as we wanted. She had kids who kept her occupied and being busy is a decent enough distraction, a kind of company, but I was often alone and lonely and so I found myself looking to others to fill the gap where F. should’ve been. Stand-ins. Proxies. Stopgaps. Surrogates. Most never realised and that was just as well—no one likes to be second choice—but M. did. The poem’s not dedicated to her but it should’ve been; ‘Scars’ (#613) is.


Kass said...

Oh dear, we're all so pathetic (not to be taken too seriously since I just watched a video of Sarah Palin endorsing Donald Trump).

Jim Murdoch said...

Politics is a strange world, Kass. It certainly attracts strange people but it’s just a job like any other job. You’d think. I’ve sat on both sides of the interview desk and know full well that the best qualified person doesn’t always get the job. One of the reasons the wrong people are hired is the wrong people do the hiring. In the case of politicians it’s the public who get to do the hiring and can you think of a less qualified bunch of people to hire anyone? What do we know about government? The idea of democracy is a good one but I’m not sure about it in practice. The simple fact is that Donald Trump could conceivably be elected president and that is a scary prospect. Now if he had to submit a résumé and be interviewed by, say, members of the Supreme Court, a few top bankers and a couple of university professors then that’d be a different matter. One of the reasons Labour didn’t get in in England last year was because the public couldn’t see Ed Milliband as Prime Minister. It had nothing to do with his (or, more importantly, his party’s) abilities. They just didn’t like the cut of his jib and that’s no way to run a country.

Kass said...

Jim, love that expression, "the cut of his jib." - Had to look it up. Now I feel smart enough to run for office.

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