Saturday 26th June 2010
Gestation: 39 weeks, 1 day
One year ago.
We sit there at dinner, on this, our last night in Fiji. Suse and I lean into each other, hugging our beers.
“You know, I really want to read your diary.”
“I know you do, honey,” I say, bristling slightly.
“So why haven’t you sent it through yet?”
I stop for a moment, thinking.
“Because… Because it’s my therapy, I guess. Writing about all of this has been my therapy. And because it’s pretty harsh, in places. In places, I’ve just written exactly what was on my mind.”
“Well, there you go. I guess I’ll get a taste of my own medicine, won’t I?”
We both laugh.
“I guess I haven’t had the chance to edit it back yet.”
“I don’t think you want to, honey,” she says thoughtfully. “I think that’s going to be the strength of it. It’s raw. That it’s exactly what it is. This is your experience. A man’s experience of the whole IVF game. You started it before you knew what was going to happen, and you continued it, bleeding onto the page at every step. We’d get shit news, and you’d go straight in to the computer and begin to write. I think that it’s going to be a really important book. I think it’s going to help a lot of men.”
“Guys don’t say what they’re thinking. Guys don’t sit around in groups, talking about what’s going on for them. A lot of guys – most of whom I managed to go out with before you – are emotional retards.”
I nod in agreement. “So what makes me any different from all of the other emotional retards?’
“Nothing honey,” she says, smiling cheekily, “and that’s the point. You’re just like all other men. Which is exactly why they’ll want to read it. To realise that they’re not the only one struggling with the whole thing.” She leans in close. “You wrote about it as it happened. I know the story so far, and it’s a ripper. They’ll want to know. People will want to read it. Hell, I want to read it. That’s why I’ve been bugging you to send it to me this whole time.”
I sigh, leaning back. I take a sip. “Okay, okay. I’ll send it to you.”
“I’d love that. I’d really love that,” she says, cradling my hand in hers.
“And what about you then? Is there anything I should do to understand your experience any better?”
“Oh, shit honey,” she replies, sitting back in her chair. “I’m a woman. You don’t need to read a book I’ve written to let you know how I’m feeling. Just look at my face.”
* * * * *