I should be using this time to tell you other things, important things like look after your mother, be kind to your sister, marry for love or give everything you can.
You are no doubt upset that I didn’t tell your mother about the tests, or why I left you for those months
These are good questions and perhaps, if time permits, I’ll set down some answers. They could ease your mind or provide an outlet for anger.
Because you are angry. I know that, even though I’m no longer there. I know where it comes from and I know it remains long after you wish it wouldn’t. I don’t know how you deal with it. I never could. I never found the words to make it go away any more than I found the words that would convince Aunt Dorothy to leave us alone.
I’m resorting to humour again because even now I find it difficult to be open.
So let me try again and instead of using this time to sit beside you, instead let me give you this one piece of advice:
Don’t stop kissing men.
As children we give our kisses freely. Our mothers, our fathers, our relations, all get the simple beauty of the kiss. We plant a seed upon the lips that grows into a smile.
You still do.
But you will stop. I stopped. My father stopped. My brother stopped.
There comes a time when men just stop kissing other men.
I don’t think it’s out of fear. I don’t think we worry about appearing effeminate. I think it is more that we begin to define the father/son relationship along different terms. Like pride and activity as fathers aim to inspire, and sons aim to compete.
But it isn’t important why we stop. It’s important what we lose when we stop. The recklessness of youth, the trust of touch, the regrets of middle age.
You are five years old. Don’t stop kissing men.