I pick Fred up from the station. So much has happened, including diagnosis and mastectomy recommendations, during the time he’s been away. I am obviously bursting with things to tell him.
He’s looking slightly tanned, healthy, gorgeous. First we kiss. Then he talks about his journey. I mention treatment options. He mentions the journey again. I mention operations and reconstruction. He talks about Pune, the town he stayed in.
‘Hey, we have to talk about boobs,’ I insist. ‘In two days time we have to have made some decisions.’ I tell him about not being able to have radiotherapy due to having had a lifetime’s worth when I was young.
A little voice comes out of the dark beside me. ‘Can I tell you about India now?’
We laugh because he says Indiah like the boy in the Youtube Gap Yah sketch.
It is clear that while I have been immersed in this little breast drama, he has not really understood what is happening.
At home, when he has rested and had a glass of wine, and told us all about his travels and work, ‘that’s sooo strange, because in Indiah…..’etc, I am puzzling away to find imagery that will work for him. What part of the male form is equivalently soft and tender? Oh yes. ‘Look, it’s like as if someone is going to cut a round hole in each of your bollocks, scoop out the insides, stuff them with fat from your abdomen and then sew them up.’
The moans and groans are visceral. ‘Uh, uh, stop, please, don’t.’ Hands over eyes, the works.
I know I’m really mean, but by Jove, I think he’s got it.