Doing Nothing With Friends. It’s Not Really Doing Nothing. Review: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy.

Doing Nothing With Friends. It’s Not Really Doing Nothing. Review: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy.

. 3 min read
"The truth is everyone is winging it." The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

"Doing Nothing With Friends Is Never Really Doing Nothing, Is It?"  No, according to Charlie Mackesy.

Charlie Mackesy’s book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is the finest tribute to friendship (and to hope and kindness) I have ever read.  And it came at the right time - the outset of this B side heavy metal scifi album that's been playing on repeat for all us.  It sold out a lot over the last 18 months, the first time before I could get it for my sister. The story begins with a lonely boy and a mole who likes cake gazing together out into the wild (which is life). In their wanderings they meet a wary fox, which is a complicated relationship for any mole.  The fox's wariness comes from being hurt by life. They soon encounter a wise and gentle horse. (“The truth is everyone is winging it,” says the horse.)  The very loose story (Mackesy says the book was written to allow y0u to begin on any page) is illustrated touchingly by Mackesy's delicate and emotional drawings.  If this all sounds too slight, or irrelevant, it's not.  (Or "Well, then God help you honey," as my Grandmother Jesse Louise used to say.)

Over the last year I started opening conversations with "are you feeling more boy, mole, fox or horse today?" to get the quick proxy on what a friend might need most in the moment. Since it was a fair assumption that we all needed something acutely.  ("I hate my husband today," said one friend, "Are there any hateful characters in there?")  I didn't have anyone to hate, since I spent much of the early pandemic living alone and cut off from friends or family, so I wavered between the boy myself (lost and lonely) and the fox (wary), but my close friend Maddie (who has a wicked sweet tooth and whose favorite bakery shut down) was in a constant state of craving, channelling the mole.

What do you want to be when you up?” “Kind” said the the boy.  The stories in The Boy reminded me of who I want to be and how I want to live.  Of how much easier it was to tend to good friends when we were younger and not weighted down by so many pressing responsibilities.  When "bandwidth" wasn't a word in all of our vocabularies.  The Boy, too, often simply had me believing that I could endure "all this" (waving hands broadly).  “One of the greatest freedoms is how to react to things.”  There is so much wisdom here, I read it over and over.  It brought some serenity to my acute aloneness, encouraged me to reach out (and not to any toxic exes - thank god - but rather to friends I'd love and lost touch with).   It also encouraged me to take a leap, put myself out there and pursue a long-shot passion.  Writing this Crush Letter to you.  "We love you whether you can fly or not," said the boy. Thanks for that, Mackesy.  And for being here, Crush readers.  If you haven't read it yet, I hope you do.

And there’s this.  “What’s the best thing you’ve learnt about storms,” asked the boy. “That they end,” replied the horse. We’re galloping towards that.

Mackesy shares his exquisite drawings on instagram here.  Read more about Mackesy in recent articles in  Graydon Carter’s AirMail, “A Boy A Mole A Fox and a Horse Walk Into Lockdown” and "Head in the Clouds".

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from the Dish curating intelligence & stories on all things love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. Show us some love by slapping our fanny, or (ummm) subscription button, right down there.



Tags

"Don't Touch My Hat.*" Midlife Men & Loneliness "This is a Tale of Modern Love ..." 5 Great Boutique Hotels Around NYC. By Jeanne Bosse 5 Things That Turn Me On: Ali Waks Adams 5 Things That Turn Me On: Bob Guccione, Jr 5 Things That Turn Me On: Craig J 5 Things That Turn Me On: Dish Stanley 5 Things That Turn Me On: Jane Boon 5 Things That Turn Me On: Lady Verity 5 Things That Turn Me On: Liza Lentini 5 Things That Turn Me On: Lynn Eaton A Roman Love Affair. By Lady Verity A Turntable and a Candle: F-ing Classics About Face: Skincare Essentials for Men An Upbeat Playlist for the Divorce-curious And I Wondered ... Do We Really Need A SATC Reboot? Bisexually Anxious Among the Noodges. Review: shiva Baby BITE. Go Date Yourself! BITE. What to Cook When You Want to F*ck. By Ali Waks Adams Book Review: A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers Book Review: Norma Kamali: I Am Invincible Book Review: Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina by Georgina Pazcoguins. Reviewed By Lady Varity Book Review: The Lover. By Marguerite Duras. Book Review: The Story of O CRUSH Summer Reading List! From CRUSH Reader Sharon Weinberg, Owner of The Chatham Bookstore Dear Dish Dear Dish. About those summer orgies ... DEVOUR {things to do, have & know about} Dish Gets A Kink Assessment. Doing Nothing With Friends Extended Encounters. By Lisa Ellex F*ck Songs. Three Best Jazz Albums for a Sexy Night In. By Lisa Ellex Five Best Jazz Clubs Around The Country. By Lisa Ellex Four Indie Bookstore That Stayed In My Life Long After I Left Town. By Dish Stanley French Kiss: French Girls Do It Better, Right? Grief. By Lauren D. Weinstein Hefner. By Bob Guccione, Jr Hide A Love Note In Their Pocket. Hook Ups: Hilary Harley, Astrologer Hook Ups: Meet Barrie Rosencrans, Spa Director & Dharma Yoga Teacher Hook Ups: Meet Heather Fink, Founder & CEO of the Sexiest Beauty Hook Ups: Theola Wong, Moon Babe Blankets Hot Thots I'm Dish, the Master of Ceremonies Kathy: This Is A Love Story About Three Friends Lamentations on the Lost Art of Kissing. By Elisabeth C. Lamotte Let's Quiver: Sexual Debut Stories Let's Reconsider, with Adam Grant Love & Mike's "Bad Girl Pasta" Love / Sex / Moon Magick. Mercury Retrograde fucks sex. Not in a good way. Love/Sex/Magick. Hey There, Lover! By Lynn Eaton Love/Sex/Magick. Lammastide! Love/Sex/Moon Magick: Endings, Happy and Otherwise. By Lynn Eaton Love/Sex/Moon Magick: Full Moons I Have Known and Loved. Love/Sex/Moon Magick: Not A Fool's Journey. By Jynn Eaton Love/Sex/Moon Magick: The Power of Sex By Lynn Eaton Melissa Biggs Bradley's New Book Safari Style Makes Me Want To Go On A Safari My First Solo Trip: Mexico, Part I. By Dawn Larsen Nice to Meet You. How Are You Crazy? Oasis in the Desert. One woman's honest journey through vaginal rejuvenation. OMG Yes. Pillow Tawk (or NOT)? Playing Games: A Review of Esther Perel's New Sold Out Card Game. Podcast Review: Dying for Sex. Why You Need to Listen to Molly's Journey. PrimeCrush & Chill: Movies Worth a Re-Watch PrimeCrush & Chill: The Hottest Thing to Watch Right Now Is A 1968. French Psychodrama "La Piscine" PrimeCrush Cocktail Coaster Giveaway! QUIVER. Sexual Debut Stories. Reports from the Edge: Kinky TV By jane Boon Reports from the Edge: Latex Stretches Reports from the Edge: Skirt Club. By Jane Boon. Reports from the Edge: Solo at the Sex Party SIP. Best Lines from the Double Dates Podcast Hosted by Marlo Thomas & Phil Donahue Six Ways to Get the Friends Who Count Snapshot Rec: Get Yourself Sexify-ed on Netflix. Snapshot Rec: Read Liza Lentini on the Indigo Girls in SPIN Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. By Christian Pan Songs That Make You Wanna F*ck. By Sarah Vespermann Stanley Tucci Is Paradise Stories & Conversations Stories to Read Aloud to a Lover. By A.K.A. Darla The 3 Things You're Really Fighting About The 4 Most Common Skincare Issues for Men (But Were Afraid to Ask). By Lauren D. Weinstein The Crush Letter No 33 The Dynamics of Friendhip By Lauren D. Weinstein The Friendship Files: Like A Tattoo Thee Timeless Travel Books. By Bob Guccione Jr. To get all of us, subscribe. Willin'. Divorce the Feng Shui Way. Willin'. Size Really Does Matter. You're My Medicine You're Wearing A Turtleneck, Again? Your Love Is King & Queen, GQ