I sounded more triple zero than Triple M this morning but got cradled through it by a beautiful man who seems to understand the human condition. His sensitivity got me thinking...
I know that it’s women who are meant to have the whole sensitive thang on lock but I tells you I encounter the odd bloke that feels harder than the average woman, if I might be so bold? Wrong town, I know, I’m just trying to make a point about genderalisations...
Let me hark back to explain…
...Three months earlier I had smuggled a Communist Era bugle from China back home as a prezzie for him. He was a muso and wanted everyone to have enough, so the present was right. My best mate Gus took to carrying that bunged-up bugle everywhere with him and despite his musical dexterity he delighted in the simple wrongness of its nature and sound, perhaps because he was a little wonky himself...
I arrive home unusually early this particular arvo and am just settling in for some nothing time when I hear the door. I crane and am relieved to see my best mate instead of my girlfriend trundle in. My best mate Gus never carries false luggage like most people and this day he bears chronic weight along the few steps through the shadow-filled hall.
‘Are you ok?’
He emerges into the room with his whole body full of tears.
He means it. I’ve not seen him carry so much bereftitude before.
‘You want a cup of tea?’
We cradle cusps of freshman cups.
Gus takes his time...
‘I was just feeling sad.’
‘Just because...of everything…’
‘What happened mate?’
‘I was on the tram. And I wasn’t right when I got on. I was already sad. And I had my bugle. I looked around and everyone else seemed really sad too, and that made me sadder…’
‘So what did you do?’
‘I thought about playing the bugle to cheer them up but I realised it has a sad sound and probably wouldn’t help…’
He trailed off and I let him, for once…
‘I really needed to cry but I held it in, because I didn’t want to make them sadder.’
‘So what did you do?’
He takes his time, as per.
‘I pulled the cord and I got off at the next stop. I waited for the tram to go, then I cried. Then I came here...’
We finished out tea in silence...
I suppose my point is that you don’t have to have a vagina to feel. Some of the raddest women I’ve ever met have massive balls and some of the best men I’ve met have the sorest hearts, is what I’m saying. We all have permission to feel. Crumply trumpet and sad tram or not. Fuck gender. Or race. Or class. It’s already sung but it can’t be said enough - all you need is love. Just ask my friend with the dodgy bugle and no tram fare.
And for the record, me and my best mate Gus are still a little sensitive at times, but we’ve both found happiness in so far as you can. Me through Love Your Sister. He through his wifey and two kidlets and his painting. Here’s me with his boy Caspar and below is the comic he drew for our maiden edition of The Stick.