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Extract from
Weekend

by Martin Foreman


This debut novel charts the course of two days in the life of a gay man in his twenties who is facing a crisis in his current relationship; interwoved with the tensions between Mark and Robert are Mark's memories of two previous lovers - Gene, an introverted and self-sufficient painter who lives in Paris and Carl, a barman with a demanding personality. In the resolution of the crisis Mark begins to feel he has only just begun to be mature. Or is he deluding himself? The analysis of the pleasures and pains of these three relationships has a great deal of relevance to us all and to how, as lovers, we lives, behave and react.
His capacity for sleep surprised him. He had thought he would spend hours shifting and turning, his body on its
Weekend by Martin Foreman


ISBN 1-870188-15-2
soft cover, 172pp
order here
back, its side, its front, his limbs crooked or straight, hugging himself or sprawled over the edge, each position reflecting a different thought, a different emotion, Robert's idea of him, his own anger at being misunderstood or regret at having caused them both pain. Instead, he had fallen asleep easily, as if his mind, overworked and exhausted from having gone over every nuance of Friday's conversation many times, had rebelled and refused to consider any matter other than its own rest and well-being. So, after a deep sleep which ended in a vivid dream of an exotic city where he walked and ran through empty, glittering streets in search of some wonderful, unknown treasure, he woke to the luxury of a Sunday morning and a day in which there was nothing to do and everything that could be done.


He dozed until the bed's comfort and warmth lost its attraction and got up to find that he was alone in the flat. Wherever Ben had gone - whether visiting one of the many friends and acquaintances whose names Mark knew but whose faces he had never seen, or playing some sport with the same energy and efficiency as he approached every activity - Mark appreciated the solitude, was grateful for the freedom to play the radio loudly, to sprawl across the kitchen, to be clothes-less or semi-nude. It was a freedom he would not lose if Robert lived here... His thoughts began but were stifled before they could dominate him as they had the day before.


The day was warm, but clouds littered the sky and Mark felt no urge to go out. He was content to let time pass as he had previously planned, perhaps cleaning, watching an old film if one were scheduled, writing the song which was already, unbidden and unsupervised, forming itself in his mind. First, however, there would be breakfast, the luxury of eggs and bacon, of toast and marmalade, a full pot of coffee that would last through the day and the thick newspaper that lay invitingly on the table where Ben had put it down. Yet it was not long before the reports of political intrigue and violence at home and wars and developments abroad lost their interest, appeared as no more than the neuroses of insecure individuals writ irritatingly large, while the pages of fashion, gossip and travel appealed to a snobbery that he did not at that moment share. In search of entertainment he turned to the crossword, but after two or three clues pushed it aside and found himself staring at the heavy branches that bobbed slowly outside his window. They reminded him of the occasions, frequent as a child, rare as an adult, when he lay on grass under trees and saw above him the green leaves swirling against a blue background as a different country, one that was not physical but emotional, one that, like a glimpse of paradise granted to the damned, could be observed but never entered. That was the feeling, the illusion, indescribable and ineffable, which he always wanted and always failed to infuse into his songs.
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