Fabian Black: A Meander Through Mark's Mind

A peep into the mind of a man with a bipolar disposition and a strict Top

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A Five-Minute Meander Through Mark’s Mind

Life is composed of a series of facts, or truths if you prefer, facts about what’s right and what’s wrong, about what’s best and wise, and what’s definitely not, there are big facts, and little facts, I know this, and I’m quite good about big facts, the ones that involve things like not deliberately hurting other people or taking their possessions, you know, the biblical type of stuff, I would never, for example, covet my neighbours Ox, or his wife, or anything like that, mainly because he doesn’t actually have an Ox, he has a small black and tan terrier, a flea bitten thing that frankly no one would covet, and anyway, what would I want with an Ox, or a terrier, I don’t eat beef, or dogs, and I don’t do women, if you’ll pardon the expression, that aside, my neighbour’s wife is a terrifying piece of femininity, even if I was straight, I’d have to have a gun held to my head before I could be persuaded to even think about coveting her and even then I suspect death would seem more appealing; it’s little facts, the small wisdoms that are harder, they’re the ones I tend to struggle with, for example, it’s a little known fact that people with a strong bipolar disposition, should never, never, and I mean never stockpile tins of leftover paint, why you may ask, well, because you can bet your life, that during an accelerated phase, you’ll awake at two o clock in the morning with a compulsion to DO something, and inevitably, your mind will start flicking up pictures of all the paint cans that you’ve slyly stashed behind the garden shed, the ones you habitually retrieved from the dustbin when your partner wasn’t looking just in case a touch up might be needed, grandiosity will then overwhelm you and you will imagine that you have artistic abilities on a par with Michelangelo; then, instead of waking Gary, the aforementioned partner to explain that you’re feeling restless and a little bit wound and could he play cards or scrabble or hangman with you, or watch DVD's or something until your mind calms down and behaves itself again, you will inevitably end up in the garden shed, mixing all the leftover paints together in the washing up bowl, the colour, in your minds eye, is unique, beautiful, stunning, come the morning, the Dulux paint people will undoubtedly be beating a path to your door offering vast sums of money to purchase the combination of colours used to achieve it, and which of course you haven’t a hope in hell of remembering, then, as dawn breaks, pushing fingers of light into the sitting room that you’ve half painted, reality will hit you, and hit you hard, not only are you really tired, but the paint has almost run out, there’s no way you can make what’s left in the basin stretch around the rest of the room, worse than that, the colour is hideous, truly, offensively hideous, Colin and Justin, of Colin and Justin’s How Not To Decorate, fame, will be appalled that a gay man could have come up with such a vile colour, they will demand that you renounce your gayness, lest it reflect badly on them and cause their programme ratings and book sales to plummet, even worse than that, in just ten minutes, yes, checks clock on the mantelpiece, ten minutes, the alarm will go off upstairs and Gary will awaken to find himself snuggled up to the pillow that you shoved into his arms even as you slipped out of them, he will come downstairs and discover you wearing nothing but paint speckles, standing in what appears to be the scene of a violent crime against tasteful décor; when he comes out of his dead faint, you will try desperately to offer an acceptable explanation and fail abysmally, questions will be asked, uncomfortable questions, such as, ‘why didn’t you wake me up, so I could help you manage your restless mood by playing cards, etc, etc, and worse, why did you secrete all those paint cans behind the shed in the first place, when we agreed that all leftover paint is to be disposed of immediately after decorating, nothing you say will make any difference, he will rollick you until your ears attempt to heal over, and for this you will actually be grateful, because all your life you’ve been adept at convincing yourself that you had a justifiable reason for doing some of the things you’ve done, or haven’t done, when all you’ve actually had is impulses beyond your ‘willingness’ to manage and control, he’s the first person ever to fold their arms, listen, shake their head and refute your claims that ‘you didn’t mean to do it, you couldn’t help it, it wasn’t your fault,’ and he’s right, and as a result of his love and support you now hold down a steady job and with only the odd hiccup you’re largely an acceptable member of polite society, the alarm goes off, you hear his footsteps descending the stairs, painting a smile on your face, you hide the brush behind your back, entertaining a wild fantasy that he might not notice what you’ve done to the sitting room, safe in the knowledge that he most certainly will, and that he’ll demand you take responsibility for your actions, moreover, you know the demand will be made via his hand spanking your bare, paint speckled, bottom until you’re yelling for mercy and you know breakfast will not be taken while sitting comfortably, however, there’s something else you know, something more important than anything, you know that come the time you decelerate and hit the harsh, unkind full stop of depression that he won’t bail out on you, he’ll still be there, loving you, supporting you, until you’re ready and able to begin to write another chapter in the story of your life, one that has sentences with natural, kind full stops that allow you to be still, to breathe, and take pleasure in the world you live in     Full Stop

Gary and Mark originally featured in ‘The Corridor and Other Stories.'

Their story ‘The Corridor’ can now be found in the ‘Gay Briefs’ anthology of short stories.