I’ve still never seen my letter. I will one day. I will get a hold of it. I’m terrified what I will think of myself when I find it. So much has come between us. Will I be challenged by that memory? The memory of writing a letter versus the horrifying contrast its contents conceal?
I have said it before, I tried to convince myself that there was something here. Something more than the errant waste that lies in my now shriveling memory cells. Writing that letter, I remember how much I was trying to convince myself that this was going to work out and that this was going to be OK. I wrote about how I dreamed of coming back home to you, and that it would all be grand.I knew in my heart of hearts that it was a pile of romantic gibberish. I knew that I shouldn’t be hoping for this but knowing this. In fact, if it really had been right, I knew that I wouldn’t be writing the letter in the first place. There would be no need to convince myself that we would be there on the other end.
The girl of my dreams would have been beside me, writing her own letter. She’d be talking about how this experience wasn’t going to define her life, but refine it. To make it more than it was. You wrote me something around the time reminding me that you would be there when I got back, That you’d be there once I had found myself. That you’d be waiting. That you had already started the calendar. While I was thinking about all the things I would do, the people I would meet and the friends I would make, simply because I was getting on that plane off to the unknown. What you were thinking nothing of what would happen while I was gone, of the opportunities in store, just about that moment that I came back.
Which is real? The formulated sap I wrote all that time ago? Or these memories, cracked and bent, twisted and entwined; glued back together through years of resentment, hope, anguish, love and guilt?
Neither is probably the truest of statements, yet truth right now is not quite something I am willing to confront.
I wonder what the non-stressed people are doing right now.
Six years since I lived in a place where I wallpapered my room with photos of my friends and adventures. Actually, back then there weren’t even that many adventures.
I used to have them everywhere. The floor would also have a pile of photos that had fallen off the walls in the heat; I would have posters in various states of (dis)repair. Newspaper clippings, headlines, album covers and flags and those free postcards that you can pickup from cool record stores or bookshops.
I can’t think why I stopped? Perhaps I moved house and I was scared of ripping the paint in the new place, or I felt that the environment didn’t warrant it.
When living with my ex-girlfiend, if it didn’t have a frame, then it didn’t go on the wall. That was the rule. I don’t know whose rule, but I knew it existed. That’s not even to go into the question of “why would you want to put up photos of people [read girls] I’ve never met?” [cross arms, furrow eyebrows, raise voice].
Ten minutes last night. A wad of blu-tac. A consistent pattern. BOOM! I have a room in which it looks like someone lives! It’s a remarkable transformation. Suddenly some of the most important experiences and people in my life, even if they were some time ago are back, and I love it.
I can remember the when, what and why of each of them. The Boatcruise, the Ball, the Bazza and Shazza party when I was very nearly very charming, a Buck’s party, the Wedding (carrying on from the Buck’s). The far East, my brother, Buddha. A storm blowing over my parent’s home, the tree I climbed as a child and a photo of my family when my grandfather and uncle were still alive and my grandmother knew who I was.
Maybe this place won’t be too bad after all.
I’m giving you a free upgrade!
CONGRATULATIONS! That’s a move from “you’re an arsehole but I can tolerate living with you” to “GO FUCK YOURSELF”. You know what? As far as upgrades go, on paper it does not look bad. In fact, it looks like you started off pretty badly in the first place. But in all seriousness, what it means is that you have broken the camel’s back – you have dropped at least 5 estimations in my book.
And the camel is not happy about it. At all.
Probably, what has happened really isn’t that big a deal, and in the morning I will wake up and not think about it again.
But when I left the house, I looked at that piece of mail for someone that lived here before time began. A person who none of us know in person, but know by name. The mail that continues to spray our mailbox despite our best efforts to stop it. I looked at it and thought, “you probably better re-address that or throw it in the bin, because whatzisname is gonna get cranky about it sitting there, and while you are thinking about it, you need to find a spot to put that newspaper away”.
Here’s the thing though. That newspaper is the weekend newspaper. And what if the other housemate wants to read it before the weekend is over? Or what happens is Mrs John Harolld O’mailitude comes to collect their mail? Hey? HEY?!? Would that be such a big fucking deal?
Now, because I looked at the mail and the newspaper and had that thought, because I knew exactly where is was when I left the house, I know that when I came back it was not in the same place. I know that the paper on top is the same part of the paper that was on top before. Only now, it is in a different part of the living room. A “cleaner” part. And the mail is no longer on the edge of the table, but in the middle of the table. You moved it! From the edge of the table, to the middle of the table! The middle! perfectly in the middle.
So I’m sorry, but you, and your perfect OCD house, can just go and upgrade yourselves to a “go fuck yourself” while I start to looking for somewhere else to live.
I once told a friend that she needed to get over her shit, because it only seemed that she was happy if she was miserable. The string of bad boys that came knocking on her college door, the stuff she was putting up with from her parents, her weekly trips back to Hometown; these complaints and burdens became eventually too tiresome and I opened my mouth. She stopped talking to me after that.
It seems however that I either learnt a great deal from this friend. Or nothing at all. For it seems the only constant of late has been Melancholy. She herself a curious creature, not quite sad, but most certainly not content.
There can be times of pure Bliss where sheer joy of the moment means the good passes without acknowledgement, like an eagle riding high through the clouds, never concerned for a moment when it might need to come back to earth. There moments where conceded (or conceited) Apathy looks down on the world and its minions from a lonely and angry island, unscalable to the wily-est of foes.
Unlike the others, Melancholy knows her place. From her spot, it’s as if everything can be seen, the ultimate defensive position with 360 degree views. She can look back on the past and remember the good without blocking out the bad. This does have the disadvantage of knowing the opportunities lost, and the memory that went with them. She is the home to which I seem to return.
Maybe I’m just happy with Melancholy too.
He reached up with his hand. Caressing the side of her face, his fingers tucked a loose strand of hair over her ear. The skin of her cheek against the skin of his hand. His palm squished her cheek into an odd shape, the tear running across the heel of his palm, onto his wrist. She looked up, pleading with her eyes as his hand slid back, fingers behind her inclined neck and his thumb almost hooked over her ear.
He kissed the side of her cheek; partly air and partly skin. She held on to that moment as long as she could. She took in his smell with the touch of his cheek without pushing herself closer, his very presence was locked with her at that moment in time.
He pulled away, his hands dropping to his sides. He looked her in the eye and said “I’ve made a terrible mistake”. He turned, and walked out the door.
Would you do it? Would you seriously consider it?
I love you with all my heart. With every fibre of my being. We are great together. We don’t need to be together all the time, but I know that when we are everything is OK. But will it be OK 2, 3,5, 10, 20 years in the future? You know, after 10 years, just the idea of sex with another man might be the hottest thing in the world. The sex itself might be even better than that. Or worse, what if it was more than just the sex?
I want to have your babies. I want to bring them up and share their life with you. Can you just imagine, for a second how amazing that could be? We would have little versions of us running around. They would remember our visits to the park and Sunday picnics and football games like I remember them with my parents. They would love and respect us as their parents. The people that gave them everything they know.
But what happens if that all falls apart? What happens if we just become another one of those horrible statistics that crop up in the news every time a famous couple get divorced? What if we have to subject our children to bouncing between houses and the eternal struggle of two sets of parents?
Will you be my person? And we could sit on park benches and watch sunsets. The sick, sad romanticism of it is what makes me mention it right now. We could create a memory that no one but us would know. We could make out on top of a hill with horses grazing nearby, or try to keep warm in a bus shelter in the rain. We can run through the snow to a jacuzzi or giggle at the shadows on the ceiling.
I so want you to be the person that does that with me forever, but is it possible? Can people really do that?
Image courtesy of bloodonthemoon5 – http://bloodonthemoon5.deviantart.com/art/Love-me-82411880