I have heard said, that good men are like unicorns. Everyone talks about them but nobody ever sees one.
To compare a man with a unicorn, is, indeed, a strange thing to be sure. Unicorns may be ‘fictitious’ creatures, but they are very real in fairy stories, folklore and even in Harry Potter’s world, which is one I almost believe in. Many times I have faced down a pillar on some bleak and windy station, thinking positively about rushing towards it in search of Platform Nine and Three Quarters. I don’t, of course, being ever so slightly aware that I may, indeed, be a Muggle after all, and, thus both bitterly disappointed, and in need of cosmetic surgery.
The other thing that stranges me about a comparison between unicorns and good men, is that men, in my experience, couldn’t be more earthed. I may attempt, for example, to unfold my feelings about some aspect of my life only to be asked scientific questions. What shape, when, why and how. I may float (just a bit) around concepts of life, love and marmelade and be yanked back down to earth with a sensible ‘fix’ to the situation, one that completely misses my point, not that I have had one of those in a long time. In fact, my being afflated about some other-worldly issue very possibly negates the need for a point, as there are many and none in the mackle mind of a woman at such times.
Now, I know, like you do, that unicorns have hooves and must, therefore, do things like walk, trot, canter and gallop, and for all of these activities, they require some sort of stable terrain, one with depth and structure, one they can see and expect to see whilst they do all of these things. In this, they are very like men, I agree. But, and this ‘but’ divides and separates, they can fly, of float, or elevate and there are few, if any, good men who can do that.
But is there a difference between Men and Good Men? I wonder if this is simply an act of perception. I say ‘act’ because it is a doing word and not a being word and there’s my point. And I have another. Does the perception of a man make him good? If I imagine him to be like a unicorn, powerful, there when you need a lift out of danger, able to move fast over ground or through the air, beautiful, intelligent, magical and interesting, might he not become so? Whereas, if I imagine him stupid and blunt, strong-like-bull but dimwitted and messy and thoughtless, might I not be fashioning him that way?
I know this is a chicken and egg question, but it has thinked me for a while and made me watch folk and consider. We can divide our lives into little controllable units, and, in many ways, this is a good thing. I want my day planned, to a degree, to the degree that is important to me, that is. I want to know when this or that is needed by my family, and what my role is in making it right for them. But, if I have forgotten what it was like when first we met, then, chances are, so has he. Life and the gravity of it has pulled us all down. It happens, but the clever ones among us notice this. If I stopped the car suddenly and said to you, Look There Goes a Unicorn, even if you were the biggest domesticated woman cynic ever, you would look, you would ask Where? But if I said There Goes Your Husband, you might look, you might, but, if it was somewhere you didn’t expect him to be you might say…..well you might say all sorts of things but you would not have the same look on your face as you did when I called him a Unicorn.