I’ve mentioned Marcus any number of times on the site now, and upon review, I’m afraid I may have done him the favour of implying that he is something other than a ridiculous man.
Entirely unintentional believe me.
Now, to be sure, there are aspects of him that are quite proud and quite Roman. In fact, if you met him, you might be convinced for an hour or so that he is the stereotype of which you think. He has hooded eyes, an aquiline (albeit quite broken) nose, and some of the broadest shoulders I’ve seen. He wears togas and tunicas, many days, and confidence rolls off him like a derecho.
Oh yes, he can be very much the general, the senator, the soldier, the politician, the judge.
As that introductory hour wears down, you find out that the next twenty-three in the day are about to reveal to you that Marcus Junius Brutus–avenger of the republica, stoic philosopher, noblest of Romans–is, without a doubt, the most wildly, joyfully, purposefully crazy man you’ve ever met.
This is not to belittle his alively days. He often reflects in ways that are deep and real upon his time in Roma and his actions therein.
This is to say that there is also a massive part of him that is simply exhausted by the name he owns, the expectations that accompany it, and the memories.
That his palliative, his curative, demands that he be as nutter as possible, walking right up to the line that demarcates the eccentric from the certified, and grinning that grin back over his shoulder.
The grin that says, “Sic, I am total make supper for and is be so best, but fiiiiiirst, I am throw grape at. Look out is GRAPE EYE.”
I am total throw grape.
Or, “Where the fuck is be catus? Shitty Kitty, where are be??? I am have thing fooooor. Is total non be throw into poooooool.”
Also, I am total throw catus.
Or, “You are like cardboard stand velociraptor butler? Non!?!? What you are even fucking know. Here is be basket. Is be full of shut up.”
Also, lest you think I am boiling him down into some sort of exaggerated dialect, a la Bram Stoker’s Dracula, let me assure you that he really, truly speaks that way. He thinks articles of speech are a waste of time, he waves his hand dismissively at tenses and gerunds, and he uses elaborate circumventions to avoid words that he finds difficult to pronounce.
I call it Marc-speak.
Once you spend any amount of time around him, I assure you, you find yourself slipping into the pattern. It’s charming and easy and often results in giggles. Shouting “you are worst!” at someone fills you with delight. Do highly recommend.
So, it’s not really the Marc-speak that paints him as odd. It’s the things Marc thinks and imagines and does that paint him as odd.
I have yet to engage my husband of four years in calm, romantic pillow talk because he comes up out of sleep a) swinging and b) full of absurd ideas that generated while he was resting. So, instead of hearing that I’m handsome or “so love” I get to field questions like, “If witch is be like, poof now you are be squirrel, what you are do for day of squirrel time?” and “what you are think is look like if dolphin and gator are be like sew together?” and “what if I am light some thing on fire today?”
Instead of pancakes with raspberry jam, I get “murder cake.”
If he becomes impatient with a complaint, he asks me, “You are cry? you are cry ocean of tear? is drown whale?”
On his days out of tunicas he wears T-shirts with toads, alligators, exploding death stars, dinosaurs, and slogans like “TEAM BRVTVS.”
He has a pet ghost shark named Pistrix who swims around with him in the pool. He feeds it cheese and crackers.
He makes his own wine (which I call Older-than-Jesus Wine) and gifts it at parties so that he’s assured to get a decent glass of red.
On any given day he might pretend to be a bird and speak in nothing but shrieks, or he might be a crocodile and spend the day on all fours, laying in wait for you to come down to the kitchen because goddammit you just wanted some tea.
He invents elaborate games like “Salt Eye,” which involves throwing peanuts, or “Pirate Time,” which is capture the flag, but in the pool and with tiny catapults.
He sent a script about the adventures of Fire Eagle and Steve Sting (a hawk with scorpion talons) to the ghost version of Cartoon Network, and they picked it up for an abbreviated first season to see how it, um…flies.
Right now, as I’m writing this post, he is lounging on a raft, wearing a homemade waterproof gator tail and flippers, sipping weak breakfast vino, and luxuriating in the fact that I am talking about him. “OooooOOOOOooo you are write post about? Is because I am best.”
No, darling, because you are “craze.”
“Cheese fry,” he tells me. Which is his way of saying “whatever.” It’s the shortened version of “Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries” from Girls who are be Mean.
And so on…
But…*sigh*…here’s the kicker. Although the gator attacks can become a bit tiresome, I actually adore all of Marc’s incredibly particular, captivating, and curated “weird.” Reason being–it’s all encompassing.
He welcomes you into it, and if you’re willing to play along, you’ll laugh until you cry.
He uses it to encourage you to find your weird, too, and then he celebrates whatever you find. For instance, I found drag, and so Marc makes all my costumes, tells me I look “so beauty” in eyeshadow, and obligingly paints my toenails while we snuggle on the couch.
Our son, Little J, wanted to run around in faerie wings, and so big, tough Popa took him to a Roman silversmith and together they picked out the “most magic” pair, after Marc had secretly called ahead and placed the order.
Our daughter has lowered her walls, as she has finally met her match for confidence and bravery and oddity. Marcus was her first hug in over seventy-five years…well, after J, who is, in plain fact, a tiny warlock of friendship.
Our mates have Marc on speed dial for shenanigans.
And when you need a protector, you can count on him to be at your side as whatever you need him to be–businessman, Left Shark, or husband.
…likely all three.