My Superhero, Captain Doofus


photograph by Hyder Images

I was just chatting to my good friend, Paul Darling online. Darling by name, Darling by nature we were together marshalling our strength to kiss goodbye to this grubby, sad and disappointing 2016 and to make sure that 2017 would be Glorious!

I mentioned together, his friends and ours, would be unstoppable in this task. We’ve all seen the movies – the good guys always win in the end despite all the odds stacked against them.

Then I got nervous and pointed out that I was afraid for Jason as, more often than not, the black character gets killed off in the third act.

Paul reassured me that this could never happen as Jason is not just any hero, he’s a superhero. I responded, well he certainly has the outfits.

Now, thinking on, it helped clarify why I love my husband so much. Every time I see him trying on some ridiculous hat or wig or….erm….wings, I see something light up in his face as he looks at me. It’s a mix of pride, joy and doofish embarrassment. It’s the look of his pure, beautiful, joyous six year old self that he has managed to hold onto despite all the knock-backs, insults, slaps and scars that life has unleashed upon him since (and believe me, though he doesn’t like to talk about it, he has had more than his fair share). But that boyous, joyous, beautiful person still remains inside, undamaged. Which is why he must never be denied a hat or wig that connects him back to those feelings.

I do think one pair of wings is enough, however.

But that’s the Jason our friends all see – the joy and laughter after one bottle of wine as well as the lecturing and the repetition after two. (You didn’t’ expect this to be all lovey-dovey did you? We’re in a relationship of nigh on 10 years – if there’s no room for a little creeping passive aggression, then what’s the point?)

But there’s another side to Captain Doofus, my hero. Early on in our relationship when we were living in Archer Street opposite the then Barcode, we returned home to find a drunk, entitled gay pissing in our doorstep.

Now I would imagine most folk vaguely categorise us as me being the masc and Jason being more fem (or whatever silly pigeonholes we’re using nowadays – because I’m not seeing any genuine move towards fluidity, just the changing round of some names). Anyway, much as we like to play with this and sometimes fuck with this, there is a core truth that I’m more handy with a power tool and he’s more handy with a paint brush.

So it was manly me who strode up to the guy and pulled him away from our doorway, piss still streaming from his cock. A struggle ensued which I certainly didn’t win (it remains a bit of a blur) but it ended with him walking away.

And then he turned. He came back towards me with a conciliatory smile on his face and his hand of friendship extended. I was brought up always to accept an apology, so I walked towards him to shake his hand.

And he swung and punched me hard on the nose. He decked me, my nose was bleeding my head whirling. But in the whirl of madness I heard “Don’t you fucking touch my boyfriend” and I looked over to see Jason, having floored this creep, pummelling the shit out of him. The guy didn’t stand a chance and eventually passers-by had to pull the still furious Jason off the guy.

I was a little embarrassed to have been so easily beaten (perhaps why I haven’t told this story before) but my love for Jason at that moment was meteoric. Not only did I have a friend and lover, I had a hero.

Nobody before or since has ever done anything for me like that – most probably because it never seems like I need it. But I do. Everyone needs a hero. To have a hero who is also your husband is to be twice blessed.

I was going to end this piece by saying that at that moment, I have never loved him more. But that’s bollocks. Every day, every week, every year, every time he tries on a ridiculous hat, I love him more. And so it will go on until the gentle pillow of love parts us.

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