One of the most confusing things amount men, something that I will never understand, is the mysterious ways in which they make up their mind on certain matters. I see it sometimes, behind Stevie’s eyes. When we are talking, usually about politics or religion, I’ll be trying to engage him in a discussion that will get him fired up, something I used to do when we were younger.
Although most marriage counsellors would probably frown on partners intentionally goading each other into conversations, its a practice that Steve and I have used for as long as I can remember. For better or worse, our relationship was built on a base of competitive conflict, a strange push-pull bond that always requires one of us to be prodding the other for attention.
It has been 3 months since Stevie was let go by his firm. Initially I was furious, not at Stevie, but his Father. It felt like too much of a coincidence. Within weeks of this strange man turning up on our front door, claiming to be Stevie’s long lost Father, he starts falling behind on his work and coming home later and later. Usually we can talk about anything, but now it felt like he was purposefully shutting out. By slowly changing his behavioural routine, he’d somehow managed to slip out of the circumference of my conscious life – now all that remained was his Father.
My feelings on Jorja have changed wholesale since my first entry in this logbook. At first he had appeared so dishevelled and hungry that I had automatically assumed that he was some kind of ancient confidence trickster looking to take advantage of my good-natured husband. Now, though, I see him for who he is, an honest if a little confused man, who puts the well being of our family far beyond his own. He’s a little cracked of course and still holds some strange obsessions with Conservatories and Kitchens but he’s also not adverse to trying out new things.
Today, for example, we both tried out the mask for blackhead removal. I’d seen it on some YouTube video a while ago and I guess I needed something to cheer myself up with.
You should have seen his face, all covered in this black goop, with his old eyes all popped out with amusement.
The longer he’s stayed here, the more open he’s become both with me and the kids. He started out at as a man, old in age but still mentally committed to his work but as the months have worn by, the affection for his new family has overtaken this ambition for material success. I wish I could say the same think about my Stevie.
In order to bring him back from the dark shadows that he has retired to, I’m going to need the help of his Father and his children. We need to remind him that he is more to us than simply a breadwinner; his job and status does not affect our love for him.