Earlier this year, I had an eccentric lover with a romantic name that kissed like a European. We used to sit on my balcony getting drunk off wine and each other, talking about love and space and grief. We shared an immediate intimacy, and I was so grateful for it, having just gotten out of a relationship with a cold, emotionally-stunted boy. My lover was tall and wild and sensitive. On the sixth day, he told me he loved me.
He doesn’t speak to me anymore. My lovers are divided like that. Some of them have become my friends and we write to each other from time to time to say hello and I miss you, but come to think of it a lot of my lovers never want to see me again. As if they want all of me or not at all. It’s sad. I am not like that. I don’t understand why the intimacy disappears when the relationship ends; the person is still there. But I am beginning to realise that I have an exacerbated capacity to emote and, as such, have learnt not to fear feeling.
Earlier this morning, waiting for my take-away coffee, I watching people brunching in the sunshine and felt a little sorry for myself. It’s been one of those days when I need to be around people, and there are no people around. And then I thought, “I am amazing, ” and it made me tear up and smile at the same time. Because look at me, living without emotional padlocks. Letting the loneliness waft in out. Sometimes so anxious I hit myself. Sometimes so joyful I speak to strangers. Me, who cries on the floor at least once a month. Me. I do all those things all the time, and yet I am not bitter. Like Louis Armstrong, I think to myself, what a wonderful world. It’s kind of sensational to sail through storms of emotion, to have almost drowned in them so many times…and still not be scared of the ocean. Especially since I know people who don’t even dare to swim.
My January lover was like that, was like me. He suffered a lot, but he was also alive. I think he’s working on a vineyard in New Zealand now, with a girl he fell madly in love with. Sometimes people are there for you in small but pivotal ways. I hope he’s happy.
This song by Dustin O’Halloran reminds me of him.