“When I was a little kid I used to be terrified of the dark,” said Guido tightly tucked up next to me in our bed last night.
As he is now just short of about seven feet tall this is a very hard concept to get your head round. I suppose he was tiny once upon a time. As I’ve said to his mother Rosa, many many times before, it must’ve been a gynaecological miracle just giving birth to him. After all of those hours of squeezing and panting I think they should’ve erected a commemorative wall plaque at the hospital.
“I’d cry out and my Pappa would come up and turn the lamp on and he’d try to reassure me that everything was really alright.”
“I can imagine Juan bounding upstairs,” I said, “what did he do, pacify you with a dummy dunked in sangria?”
“No, silly,” said Guido. “He’d lay me down and tell me to close my eyes and imagine I was on the hot sand on our favourite beach just outside of Malaga. Then he’s ask me if I could feel the glow from the sun and I’d say yes and he’d pull the blanket up around my neck and switch out the lamp and then everything would seem to be okay again.”
“That’s so sweet,” I said, because it was. “Mental imagery can be such a powerful tool you know. I use it every time I look at myself naked in the mirror. I just pretend I’m Joe Wicks. If you threw in a wok and a high protein stir fry, frankly you’d be hard pushed to tell us apart.”
“Weren’t you afraid of the dark?” he asked.
“Not really no,” I said, “I was far too busy trying to drown out the sound of my mother chasing my father around our house with a frying pan. They spent almost all their brief and deliriously happy marriage trying to kill one another.”
Suddenly outside there was the sound of an ear drum exploding bang. It was loud enough to make Guido leap from bed to look out of the window and drag all of the blankets across our bedroom floor with him.
“What on earth was that?” he said.
“Oh, it was probably just Ethel in the laundrette next door. One of her barrels of hooch explodes from time to time depending on gas content. Either that or it was one of the night buses backfiring. Come back to bed would you?” I said, “and bring the bedclothes with you, its freezing in here.”
It was very cold in London last night.
He climbed back in beside me.
“You feel like an iceberg,” Guido said. So he snuggled up behind me and put his big hairy arms around my waist and nestled his chin on my shoulder. “Is that better?”
“Yeah,” I said. And I made the same, mmmmh…, kind of moan I usually only specially reserve for when I’m eating a slice of his homemade shortbread. It’s crumbly with a chewy chocolate and caramel topping on it. It’s totally orgasmic. I’ll divulge his recipe someday and you’ll all realise exactly what’s been missing from your lives all these years.
“Close your eyes,” Guido said, “and imagine you’re laying on a hot sandy beach in Andalucía. Can you feel the glow?”
I closed my eyes. Let’s just say I could definitely feel something.