‘I think I’m going to revive Reservoir Dad,’ I say to RM, who’s leaning on to the kitchen bench, tapping into her work laptop, stretching her hips to the left and right, chewing on some cashews, obviously trying to turn me on.
‘He was dead?’ she says.
‘He’s been hibernating for a while. In here,’ I say, tapping at my temple, then tapping the zipper of my jeans. ‘But he hasn’t been out there for a while. I think I’m going to start blogging regularly again. What do you think?’
‘Of course,’ she says, pushing a thumb into the insertion of her gluteus maximus, massaging it a little, wincing, distracting me in an obviously flirtatious way. ‘I miss the blog. You shouldn’t have ever stopped. What’s bought this on?’
I’m startled into momentary silence when Tyson, playing his iPad on the couch, screams in frustration and flips his iPad the bird.
‘I’ve been featured on a site called Helmet or Hoodie that categorises men according to the state of their dicks, whether they’re cut or uncut.’
‘Of course you have,’ RM says.
‘And when I posted it on my Facebook Page some of the comments reminded me of how much fun blogging used to be, and how…therapeutic it was. This one woman, Cate, mentioned the YouTube video of my vasectomy, and this other woman, Amanda, linked in her favourite RD blog post.’
‘It was called Balloon Poodles. Remember? We were at a kid’s party? You were pregnant with Maki. I got drunk and the balloon guy made Tyson a balloon poodle that I put in my back pocket. You took a photo and said it looked like I had haemorrhoids. And then on the way home we stopped at the chemist so I could buy you some anus-hole in case you got haemorrhoids during the labor.’
‘Anusol,’ RM says, laughing.
‘Yeah, I know. An-you-sole,’ I say. ‘So I read over that post and several others and I was laughing, reliving certain things about the boys and you and me and, I don’t know, I was getting all bleary eyed remembering how much fun it was, blogging, writing about my family.’
‘Hey!’ I say. ‘That wounds me…Reservoir Mum.’
‘Oh, so RM’s back as well?’ she says, thumbing her hip again, wincing, circling her bum a little, basically confirming that we’ll be getting all jiggy with it tonight.
‘There’s no RD if there’s no RM. Here, let me do that for you,’ I say, sidling up behind her. When I look over the kitchen bench to the living area our four boys, faces glowing in the light of their respective electronic devices, make me think of missed memories, unrecorded milestones. ‘I always felt guilty that I stopped writing about the boys.’
When RM groans appreciatively, pushes the laptop away and lays her head down on her folded arms, arching her back a little, I’m almost sixty percent certain that she’s trying to make her arse the centre of my attention.
‘My girl’s been working out,’ I say, raising my eyebrows suggestively even though she can’t see it.
When I slip my hand from her hip to her arse cheek, she stops me, redirects me, says, ‘No. Keep massaging.’
‘One of the best things about the blog, one of the reasons I started it in the first place, was that the boys would have it there to read over, for the rest of their lives. Now I’ve missed a lot of their lives. Archie’s 13 now. Maki was only three when I was last blogging regularly.’
‘You’re a melancholic.’
‘Exactly. So why fight it? Why hide it?’ I say. ‘I’m going to do it. I’m going to commit to blogging for a year.’
‘Sure you will,’ she says. ‘You’ll probably get in some Internet fights and get all huffy again.’
‘I have to find a way to be more resilient,’ I say.
‘And then Ford or Toyota or some company will sponsor you again and you’ll feel like they’re influencing your…artistic vision or something and you’ll be all “Wah, I’m selling out my family” and you’ll stop blogging and spend another three years writing fiction with heaps of sex in it.’
‘I’ve learnt from all that,’ I say, with a hip thrust that’s one part aggression, two parts love. ‘No Internet fights. I’ll only respond to the Likers…unless a blog post gives me the opportunity to make fun of a Hater or two. And I won’t take any money or sponsorships for the blog…unless I have complete artistic control and the money can help me to publish my fiction…’
‘Here we go,’ she says, taking my hand to guide my thumb back to her sore muscle. ‘What about Some Kind of Superstar?’
‘I’ll finish the third series. It’ll just take longer than I planned,’ I say, as Lewis – probably waiting for an App to load – lifts his Nerf gun and shoots Maki in the face, and it’s as Maki’s throwing his iPad to the side, charging Lewis like a six year old shrieking banshee, that I voice my commitment to a spontaneous idea. ‘Fiction comes second. RD’s number one now. Shazaam!’
‘Oh my God,’ RM says, laughing. ‘You haven’t said Shazaam for ages.’
‘And I haven’t talked about buffing up my pecs for ages either,’ I say.
‘Well, that’s not true…’
‘For some reason,’ I say, forgoing the massaging to grip RM’s hips with more force. ‘This position reminds me of George Michael.’
‘But the song that comes to mind is Easy Lover,’ I say, picking up my iPhone, finding the song on Spotify, playing it loud.
RM looks back with an eye-roll and a dismissive-slash-cheeky grin-slash-grimace. ‘Really? Do we have to get back into the 80s again?’
‘RD only listens to 80s,’ I say, moving our hips to the left and the right, kind of like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, but greater intent, and a sexier facial expression. ‘It’s the only music that’s tinny and synthesized and melancholy. It’s the only music that combines a mawkish self-interest with an inherent tendency to take the piss out of itself, or at least not take itself too seriously. It’s the only music, RM, that’s a true reflection of RD, the man we’ve both grown to love.’
‘Hey, get your Helmet away from me,’ RM says, standing up, spinning around and cupping my balls with such swiftness that I actually yelp. ‘There’s no way you won’t get sucked into Internet wars and artistic turmoil again. You’re too open. You can’t help it. You’re too honest.’
Because I’m not really wanting to engage in that topic when she has me in her grip like this, I whisper, ‘I knew you were into me you little minx. You were saying no but you really meant yes.’
RM laughs and shakes her head. ‘See. There’s no way you can write that in a blog. It’s too controversial. The feminists will hunt you down. You’ll be ostracised.’
‘But we’re feminists RM,’ I say, looking past her to our four boys.
They’re yelling at screens, flipping the bird at their iPads, shooting each other with Nerf Guns, on the verge of tearing each other apart, and with my balls in RM’s hand I’m remembering that familiar steady state of story-building, a state that intensifies my focus on the love of my life and my boys. It’s comes from equal parts frustration and love. It confirms my place in the world and makes the day-to-day, the ups and downs, even more meaningful.
‘It’s already started RM,’ I say, “You Spin Me Round” augmenting my already heightened sense of purpose. ‘Open up your loving arms. RD’s back, baby. This blog is already writing itself.’
*If you’ve read this far, well done! Social media gurus tell us that we should keep posts short and sharp because of our ever shortening attention spans. Blogging experts also tell us that we should ask a question at the end of a post because it engages the audience and helps to extend a post’s reach. What a bunch of arseholes!