Wandering and bonding

We are such ridiculous animals. For the last few months Nic and I have been two male male menmen managing isolation in our own masculine manner. Suddenly Nic had to move into mine and last night two cocks squared up against each other (not like that though).

This morning he walked into the kitchen and refused coffee. We both had a head on.

“I’m going off all sugar caffeine and alcohol,” his words told me, and I humoured them despite his eyes and my wisdom. I poured all the coffee into one mug, shaking my head affectionately.

Today was the perfect London day. Mild wind blowing through warm sunlight giving us movement and breath. Everybody was out, and we were not backwards in coming forwards. We had some bonding to do after the carcrash of yesterday evening.

We walked. We walked and walked. I showed London my legs for the first time this year and it was ready for that. We found points of contact via landmarks and tales of poets and visionaries of times gone by.

It was needed time. We both made our legs tired but by God we covered ground, psychically and physically. Parks and factories and wharfs and warehouses, insecurities and fears and habits and false positives, boats and streets and statues, life.

This is a point of contact between the two of us, bachelors born in the same year, both maybe a little too used to the simplicity of living unlucky in love : we are both esoteric geeks. We have formed patterns now but who doesn’t?

I remember a friend of my mother saying of men with certainty “Once they get past 40 you can’t break their habits.”At the time I thought it sounded like nonsense. Now I know it to be. But I also see how anybody with such a simplistic view couldn’t “break” what they considered to be my “habits”.

Today, as we walked and talked and found and thought, we also indulged bad habits. We stopped and bought some chilled beer. We gradually got gently sozzled in the sunshine.

By the end of the day the ghosts of yesternight were laid.

Here we all are in our boxes. Other people have always been a leap of feeling. It takes compassion and patience to exist in society without constant frustration. This is why we love the Buddhas – the bodhisattvas – the many versions of the Dalai Lama – the Popes. “How can that human remain so calm and wise in the face of our flagrant technicolour idiocy?”

This society has fronted convenience and sold us false stories of perfection to the extent that people in a relationship get home from work and bitch about their colleagues only to spend the next day going to work and bitching about their partners. My industry has a lot to answer for in terms of stories of false hope and impossible or unhealthy love. 

None of us can go to work right now though. We just stay home. But we need to take this opportunity to rejig unhelpful patterns and unrealistic expectations.


We found a lovely graveyard. We found loads of history. And then we found six king scallops and a load of honey, teriyaki, chili and garlic.

“Hey Al!” – this is LIVE : Nic shouting from where I’ve put him – in the bath – so I can blog uninterrupted.

“Hey Al – if we’re going to drink that red tonight, we should probably get it breathing.”

He bought a Lussac St Emilion from 2015.

He’s probably right.

Boys will be boys. I’m not going to remind him of his morning promise. I knew the shape of it when he made it.

I’m off to get it breathing… Glug



Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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