Art by Marc Hendrick
Art by Marc Hendrick

The Tournament of Masculinity: Steve

Steve, still a bit drunk from his lunch meeting, sits at the kitchen table with a wine. He uses sewing scissors to carefully cut pictures of the Oarsome Foursome out of this morning’s Herald.

There’s a good one of them standing on top of the podium with their gold medals; the centrepiece. He positions a yellow, A2 piece of cardboard, and — using two rulers for precision — pastes it dead in the middle.

Around the cardboard’s periphery he pastes pictures of Kieran Perkins, Susie Maroney, Lisa Curry-Kenny and another one of the Oarsome Foursome — but this time of them rowing on a river of fruit.

In the top centre of the cardboard, he had already positioned the previous day’s headline: “Our Barcelona Heroes” — and in the bottom corner, he prints in light pencil, “By Jessica Howard, 2H.”

He steps out on the balcony for a ciggie. It’s a quarter to eleven.

The call’s at quarter past — enough time to clean up the cardboard, make coffee.

Then he’d agree with whatever the Americans had to say.

Then he’d stack the dishwasher and piss off to bed.

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James Ross-Edwards is a regular contributor at New Albion.