Last night a pal came round for a cup of tea. He had read the blog but was not too sure how or why the running away would help, nor could he get his head around my unchanged feelings for someone he considers abandoned me. I tried to explain:
I do not want to paint my relationship with my lost love as only a bed of roses. Don’t misunderstand me, we had our ups and downs due to a host of different stresses we both individually had on our plates over the years, but from my perspective, I remain to this day only grateful for the time we shared. I am at least in posession of a tableau of colourful memories and lost dreams.
Insofar as the last seven+ months are concerned, they have been extraordinary and difficult for me to cope with. The time has however, had its uses in terms of reflecting and just trying to make sense of the enormous changes that have occurred since Dad passed away in September 2008, after which I was not myself as anyone close to me will testify. I was caught up in a spiraling world of distracting nonsense.
When I say I have reflected, I have seen myself and all I see is ugliness.
I am full of remorse and regret that during that period I neglected my loved ones in the way I did. Life just overwhelmed me. Why I took on more nonsense, and ignored my love – my best friend, I cannot reason. Maybe it was just a diversion, a way of coping with the reality of seeing my last parent going. I really cannot explain.
So many lost moments where I could have been more present but was so preoccupied that I hardly recognised them as moments at all.
In any event, on my mother’s birthday (July 30th), my love asked to meet me in the Railway Hotel and by the end of a pint of beer, my love was lost.
By September and October 2009, I was completely barking. It was clear at that point that I had lost the two people who I had spent the most time with over the last five years; my love and her brown eyed boy. Up until the time I met her my life had always felt like an unanswered question; a string of days and nights waiting for something to happen. I didn't know what. After meeting her I assumed that we would be part of each others lives until the end of my life certainly (bearing in mind the likelihood for chaps to die before their spouse), that our lives would be irrevocably entwined. In this respect, I was wrong.
Sure, there were differences in the things we liked, but we liked playing similar games, declaring obscure items as treasure (like matress frames, rusting things, like shells and stones with holes in them, like glass worn smooth by the sea, like spiders webs and dew drops), we both liked peeling signs of a bygone age and things that had lost their lustre.
I tried to just see her and her boy after her attention was somewhere else, but it was not positive. My lost love was distracted and I, although pleased just to spend time over a cup of tea, was equally torn apart and destroyed with tremendous grief whenever we parted. I suppose one can only take so many goodbyes. I decided that at least for the time being I cannot cope with the new reality and that I needed to stay away.
It's the small things that pain me the most; that I will not hear her sing child ballads again as she tries to get her little boy to rest, that her little boy will not hold my hand again. It's strange but I did not realise, in so many subtle ways, how she and her son defined who I am, what I do and what I think. They made me real. Things I discovered I would share with her and her reaction would very often inform my thoughts on a given subject. This sharing of ideas I miss and her humour. Making her happy made me happy. That's how I knew I wanted to be with her forever, because simple things shared with her were the highlight of my week; like positive puctuation marks in a landscape of grey.
Understanding a little about the importance of meaningful occupation to distract one from the dark black holes that can easily become all-consuming, from October, I threw myself into obliterating the brown in my house.
All brown furniture changed colour to a couple of Farrow and Ball shades of either light cream or pale green. Even the fish tank stand now matches the rest of the newly painted house. It looks alright and when friends have come, all have said it’s an improvement.
An occupation like painting furniture provides lots of thinking space, time to reflect and the opportunity to take stock. After stripping away all of the vanity and vexation of spirit, and after all the repulsiveness and ridiculousness has either gone for good or been packed away, probably never to be looked at again, my Christmas Eve conclusion was correct. The only meaningful reasons I had to go on in this house, in this place, in this life have gone. Ergo I will go.
This does not explain my undiminished love for her. No it doesn't.
The truth is that from the Kings-mile event, I knew that I
loved her. I loved her then, I love her
now and I have loved her every day in between.
I am sure I will always love her.
And if there were a chance to meet again? Well, only time will tell. Hope springs eternal and stranger things have happened, to use just two more cliches.
No one said love was rational.