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  • I am in bed. It's hot. The air con is noisy and the house feels heavy and clogged and I feel achey and stuffy and clogged too.

    I am grateful this past week for men.

    I have been touched, this week, figuratively, by men, males, friends who seem to have collected and clumped together, when I need them. Like there is an invisible but powerful beacon that gives them a sense to be in touch? Virtually, and right here.

    They range in age from 30, to as old as my Mum.

    I have slept with none of them, nor will I ever.

    They are vastly different. I have been blessed, I realise, to attract the kind of kind men who have needed me at times, as much as I now need them.

    Some of them know one another, vaguely. Through Darwin connections, where the world is shrunk.

    I do not need overt affection or hugs or sympathies right now. I need to be busy, to be filled with action. I need that male ability to not verbalise issues, nor make me cry with comfort kindness. I need to draw them to me, to remind me that I am whole and full and vital. I am not just a mother and a daughter and an intermittent writer.

    These men, and the roles they know me in, know me to be happy. To be driven at work. To be caustic but vibrant. To be gracious but fun. To be female and strong. They know all facets of me.

    My lovely husband knows all these things. I take him for granted and it is mutual.

    But my male friends - they have the distance to admire these traits without romantic love. They respect and are fond, but are not indulgent.

    Lucky for me the lovely husband knows and shares my male friends, and we share a trust.

    I have always attracted male friends. I am not butch, nor one of the lads. Nor am I a simperer, or coy. I like men, and I like to flirt. I don't flirt with my male friends, I don't think? I am just me.

    For the messages, for the emails, for the breakfasts. For the thousand conversations in my kitchen over coffee. For the cafes and the red wine and the Scrabble. For the knowledge and the knowing and the trust and the pub.

    For everything - thank you.
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