“For your love,
For your love
I would give the stars above.”
The Yardbird (1965)
Love, or so the theory goes, is an evolutionary response to ensuring the continuation of the human species by keeping the family together to raise their young. But what is the evolutionary benefit of being in love with someone who wants nothing to do with you? And continuing to be in love with that person four years past the breakup, through various relationships? Shouldn’t there be some sort of a fail-safe mechanism? At this point my pain is intermixed with a sort of a wry amusement at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.
The shocking thing is that pretty much anything can set my heart a-flutter: from hearing a client’s Irish accent (we both like Irish folk rock), to merely seeing someone smile because her the image of her smile pops up in my mind, to simply making a cup of tea. The pang of the empty feeling inside hits immediately, like a current. You see it coming yet it shock you nevertheless.
I keep thinking of going somewhere. Running away, if I’m honest… Would it make a difference? Would the change of scenery help or would Yours Truly be just as miserable elsewhere? We all carry our pain and hope that it doesn’t crush us. It suffocates and strangles and it makes the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy, to take advantage of yet even if I do, there is no enjoyment and it feels empty and bland. It is also so bloody ridiculous to be that dramatic about a rather brief relationship that happened years ago. That in itself is a shock.
I am not delusional (one hopes). There is no basis in reality to think that somehow we will end up together, that she will change her mind. Nor am I the coercive or abusive type to constantly pursue someone who has previously made it clear to hold no interest in yours truly. I will not be showing up outside her door with a boombox or cards. In the end, all one can do is to carry on and hope for the best. Whatever that might turn out to be. Or – for fuck’s sake! – at least not for worse than now…
What can be more poetic than watching two people fall in love dancing?
Two friends who are just friends,
Evident to everyone but themselves.
Memories of her come rushing in
Like the overwhelming emotion of “Lean On Me”
I want to lean on her but all that I hold is a ghost of a memory,
Slipping through my fingers
Like waning notes of a forgotten love song.
And so as I dance with another, you are “Always On My Mind”.
But in the silence between the songs
Your far away voice is still there.
As I am sitting in the tent, eating my supper, Yours Truly is considering the current situation. We had to set up an emergency camp on a mountain plateau, far from any suitable location. The plan was quite different but due to the deep and intractable snow and darkness we have been left with no choice but to sleep here and backtrack the entire trajectory thus far.
At times like these, one cannot but contemplate the vagaries of life. We had a plan; it was a good plan. But it completely desintegrated. (As the military folks are apt to point out, no plan survives contact with the enemy.)
Yours Truly also has some plans. If you have read my previous posts, you know that I am working on being a better me. It is not easy but – not unlike a shark – if I stop moving, that will be the end of the line. Eventually, the aim is to be the kind of person that would be successful in interpersonal relationships, and especially the romantic kind. So as I am biding my time in a cold tent in the middle of a mountain plateau, with high winds battering the sides of the tent, on the eve of the Ex’s birthday, I am striving to figure out how is it possible that an exceptionally bright and beautiful young woman, 13 years my junior, would show romantic interest in Yours Truly. To date, we have only gone out on a few dates (though snogging was involved) and she is amazing. She loves a lot of the same things I love and same goes for things we hate. We have a tremendous amount of things in common. And I don’t know how to react and what to do with myself. Am I still in love with the Ex? Am I ready for a relationship with someone new? Does she even want one? How do I not screw this up? This new girl – let us refer to her as T. – is by far more pleasant, far smarter, better writer, and more beautiful than the Ex. And yet I do still think about the Ex. To my credit, this does not happen as often as before and, since meeting T., the intensity of emotions has greatly declined. Will she be the one to help me out of my ennui and perhaps more? Or am investing too much, too early and am simply setting things up for a disappointment? The latter is most likely true. But I yearn for someone to hold me close and see me for who I truly am and what I can become. For now, though, I am stuck in a tent with two other guys, hundreds of miles/kilometres from home and T.
Yours Truly is so truly and incredibly fucked. I am currently trying to dig myself out of the whole I plunged into head first at work. Why? Because I am too preoccupied with my own condition. My shrinks say it is a good sign though one suspects that my employer would disagree.
The main issue in this mess, however, is that the only thing that got me to calm down today and be able to function, was to dig out the photos of my EX. The one. One suspects that my shrinks would not agree that this is a good sign.
One supposes this was bound to happen sooner or later. Yours Truly went on a date. Actually, I did go to a lunch date couple of weeks ago but that did not go anywhere. It was not really a date but rather making someone’s acquaintance. Last night though was a date. My first one this year. It went very well. The was some snogging/smooching/making out at the end and there will be another date. In fact, the snogging part was so fantastic that I did not even think about my ex for over 20 minutes afterwards!
Hello my dearest. It has been a long time since I have last written to you. Since the last time, I have not expected to write again and yet here we are.
It has been a year since you left me and, oh, what a rough year it has been. A stormy time when waves of anguish, squalls of despair, and clouds of darkness were my constant companions. Say what you will about the dark thoughts, at least they stay.
We have met face to face a couple of times since the worst of the storm has past. It was all very adult and civilised. Yet underneath my calm demeanour a vortex of the pyre of my love for you still burns as strongly as when I wrote that fateful letter that set you off so greatly.
Not many things have changed in my life in these past twelve months. Still as troubled as long before our lives intersected, I have made strides to improve my dreary existence, to believe in myself, to believe there is a better future for me. These last twelve months of extensive psychotherapy have also opened my eyes to see your actions in a more realistic light of not being all that ethical or worthy. And yet it remains a mystery to my therapists and to myself why I still love you. What poison have I drank to still be infected this way? What sin have I committed to still suffer the consequences? Or is love itself is my cardinal transgression?
The road ahead of me is dark and full of mysteries. One hopes that when I see the light, it will be the end of the tunnel and not the light of the oncoming train.
I ran into her again. We exchanged a few words. She smiled. Bloody hell, I missed that smile!
I am still shaken from the encounter with the ex yesterday afternoon. Seeing her there, smiling, chatting with others only served to remind me how much I missed that smile, that voice. It also highlighted that Yours Truly has been living in the world of shadows and ephemeral memories for the past 11 or so months.
Ancient Greek poet Heraclitus wrote:
“Immortal mortals, mortal immortals, one living the others death and dying the others life.” In the all too brief a time that I spent with her, I have felt like an immortal god of old. Yet in losing her I have come to live the death of my greatness and I have been dying in the life without her in it.
And yet I have grown. I am most certainly not the same heartbroken wet mess that first started writing this blog nearly a year ago. She has lost that god-like status yours truly has endowed her with; I see her in a somewhat different light. Despite all that my feelings for her have not changed. My therapist asked me whether I would get back together with her should she decide to come back. He was not pleased to know that even after the way she treated me I would still go down that rabbit hole. Needless to say that yesterday’s encounter drove home the message that she would not come back to me. Seeing me there was nothing more than an afterthought. Just like our entire relationship.
How does one increase own pulse rate from a regular steady 80-84 to a breakneck racing 154? Simple: run into the theatre where you are doing a show and find yourself face-to-face with your ex sitting at the ticket desk. You know, the EX? As my friend puts it, The One That Almost Kills You. Fan-fucking-tastic!
Sunday morning. I am on a set, filming inserts for the play that I am doing. There is a great cast of people associated with this production. I did my part in two takes and helped out on the set for other’s camera time. I should be feeling great!
And yet yours truly is unsettled. I still get constantly rattled by sudden pangs of memory of love lost. It is not helping, of course, that my favourite and most important day of the year is coming up (no, it is not my birthday) and last year I spent it with who I thought (and despite everything, frankly still feel) was the most wonderful human being in the world.
People in my life keep telling me that I am a great chap, that I have a lot of things going for me, that I am funny and interesting. So why don’t I feel it? Why do I not feel that I deserve good things? Why have I never felt that way in my entire life?