Remember When...


In the beginning...

Gar sat on his rock in the damp cave, warming his weary hands. The fire burned nicely and he had a fresh rabbit cooking with a strange cave-made marinade that made it taste absolutely wonderful.

He took pride in his cooking as well as his artistic accomplishments, which he’d created with rocks, charcoal, and mammoth droppings on his cave wall. They were more murals of his life than anything else. They may not have looked realistic but had the smells and textures of earth. And other things. He had a lot of time on his hands to do things like this, since a group of velociraptors had eaten his wife while she was washing in the stream. It was devastating for him to watch because Shug was his life, his true love, and he cherished fond memories of her, even making up rhyming words to her in his head.
During this time, the closest the men got to romance was “Bonk woman on head and drag her to the cave…The End”. There weren’t a lot of long relationships to expand on.
Gar probably wished he could write a how-to book to share his ideas, thoughts, and instructions on how to make all the things he had. Or his whimsical jokes to share with others. But alas, there were only so many flat rocks and walls to write on. And there was no alphabet. So, Gar’s words were just that. Gar’s.
Over time, more people would write their words on leaves, skins, or whatever they could find, and pass them along. There were maps for travel and to herds of food, but it was harder and harder to share.
Centuries passed...
Ancient Egyptians used papyrus and carved into stone with their hieroglyphics to share their stories of gods messing around with their sisters/brothers. I mean, Cleopatra alone had enough husbands and lovers to fill volumes of novels. Imagine how many covers of “The National Enquirer” she would be on.

More centuries pass...
Roman scribes used parchment. This may well have been the dawn of M/M and bromances because,hey, that was what they not only did, but celebrated. It was believed that no soldier would fail in his duty if he was fighting next to his bff or lover. I mean, you protect who you love, even if he snored in bed.
So, there were plenty of writings, lots of parchment, and possibly an early romance novel or two. It was all good until the Emperor got the urge to play a tune and burned everything down.
Even more centuries roll by...
During Medieval times, monks were busily trying to put everything in writing and created paintings to also keep track of their history. This could well have been the beginning of what we now know appeals to most men when it comes to magazines and books... they like pictures.
How many of those long-forgotten monks were budding romance writers bent over stands, illuminated by smelly sheep fat candles, aching to write how lovers thwarted their destinies to be together? Or were there dramatic monks, eager to bring fantasy and excitement into their mundane lives?
And somewhere during all this came the time of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Even if you had ‘em and could read ‘em, there’d be no place to keep books when you’re living in a forest and trying to sneak into Maid Marian’s room whenever you get the chance. Heck, you could see everything the men had in those tights. Ouch.

Read the entire article in the July/August 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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