Man About Town

April 3rd, 2015

A man cheating on a man is different from a man cheating on a woman because there are no laws, no moral precedents on which to base the curling of your nose. The men are not bound to each other through any codes of the society. Even if they have a civil union or even marriage. It is something that is to be expected. Each gay marriage sets its own rules. Does anyone even sympathise with the guy who’s been cheated  in a gay relationship?

It is a mystery how you choose a book which deals with exactly what is going on in your mind. I have been putting off reading Mark Merlis’ Man About Town mostly because of the unattractive cover – a photograph from behind, waist above, of two men wearing business suits. Both are obviously in their early 50s. One man has his hand around the other’s shoulder- not in a friendly way, not as if they are even remotely physically or emotionally involved but in an awkward manner like for a photo-op, when a Guest of Honour puts an arm  around someone he has just handed over an award to.
Merlis is simply brilliant and obviously well read. I’m sure he’s writing from experience. I can so relate to this Joe, who is telling the story. He has just been told by his partner of 15 years that he’s with a friend and not coming home that night. Like Joe i can’t remember anything ever having stressed me enough to not feel hungry or not sleeping soundly. The waking up in the night to check if he has returned (this happened in Siem Reap recently) only to find that he has not and then going right back to sleep. The remaining calm and pushing the thought of confronting or even thinking about it till the next day. The checking behind his back if any of what he told me is true and confirming that what you feared was true instead. The imagining life without him. The emptiness and feeling what is the purpose for which you have been put on the earth.

Right when i reach  51% of the book, it goes crazy. Hiring a personal detective? Who does that? Even the book says it’s crazy.


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