• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 08
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Whoa man. Woe man. Woman. Omen.

"What a man can be, he must be."

Salt upon my cheeks and last night’s abstemious diet leaves an unsated desire for shellfish. Can’t they see I’m crazy for lobster? Perfect for right hemisphere function: regulation of aggression, memory and emotion. Instead it’s B12, rosacea, and night sweats. A suck session of lemons in a tarty world.

Le mon. My world - bitter - bit her - sharpness bites her. Lemons. I’ve waited like a mutt to reap the fruits of my labour. That first cry of joy. Life, withheld: barred. Sacrificial lamb turned to mutton.

Scientia potentia est – knowledge is power. With education the planet shrinks to become a magician’s handkerchief. Quoting tío Édouardo: “El mundo es un panuello”. The world is our oyster, a treasury filled with promised pearls of jouissance. Study hard Sweetpea and success will come. Fulfilling our potential was our parents’ dream. Our nightmare skirting the real.

We shared so much in St. Margarite’s Catholic Grammar, our teenage dreams, desires, moon-cycles, perspiration and tears. We were taught, taut with deportment. Fast lane pride led us to believe in equality. With no break - our brakes cut. Our fingers blistered writing essays. Cut and paste spread out on rugs. Burning midnight oils, toiling rhythms. Cutting, pasting, filling baguettes in hairnets and canteen overalls.

Our parents, our mentors, even society promised and fuelled the myth of greatness. Our IQs an inheritance. Our rite of passage gruelling university schedules. We lived on boiled eggs and buttered soldiers. Stale, sliced white: no fridge, no toaster. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll suppressed. No dining and coupling.


Whoa man. Woe man. Woman. Omen.

Instead, lone single whining with Mars or Marathon bars coming up peanuts slice after slice. Chocolate and perk you later coffee. Slumped with Walkman and Wordstar whilst vinyl needles collected fluff. The cheapest sleaze of the free-love student fail: not scene - not herd - not rivalled. Astrophysics, biogenetics, even fashion, we followed our passion to become. To make the parents smile. It was written in the family stars. Our time had come, degree, masters, Phd, all students hand in hand, the same land, the same opportunities. Mortar boards ready and on the count of three, say cheese and throw up.

Just look around now. Breathe in testosterone. Feel the squeeze of masculinity. The competition rank with the perpetual nine month postponement and for the least fortunate our rampaging oestrogen blocked by daily pops of Tamoxifen.

I feel you touching my hair, your hat tilting on my head. I reel back, glaring. I’ve opened the letter. It’s on fire in my pocket. My fingers damaged with their own quick picking. Peri-menopausal hormones raging and another failed round of IVF. Where’s the level playing field now? Romance a forgotten goal post. Maybe it’s time for a salon cut, a bob, a crop, wine, lobster and shellfish galore. Was this The Race we entered, two score years ago? This becomes a barren world when competition, desire and drive, flip Maslow’s Pyramid upside down.