So it fucking happened again, and here I am again, and yes I do feel bitter about it, despite knowing from seemingly a long way off with a dreary predictability that things would pan out like this.
How did it end up this way? I feel wronged somehow. I really tried this time. I really did, and while it may seem childish, I feel like I deserve more of a fucking reward. Am I doomed to quixotic pursuits of loveless futility? Where’s my good luck. Where’s the universe smiling for more than just a moment saying yes, here’s your lasting happiness, this time it’s meant to be, this time it will be more than a flash in the pan, more than a look, more than a sigh, a truncated Memory that isn’t worth the metaphorical paper that it is written on. Let me throw my tantrum and my cliches, I don’t want to behave like an adult.
It began with a photograph. No, that’s not true. It began with a conversation where we couldn’t even remember each other’s names. Not an auspicious beginning, you might say. Now, I can say to you with clear eyed certainty that it felt right, no, that it *was* right, and it felt better and more sure than what had come before it, and the next day when I found myself entangled with her both in reality and in metaphor it still felt right even though the drugs and the euphoria had probably worn off.
The photograph came later. And it was a strange turning point. Why did she want to take photos? I still don’t know. I was ready to walk away, really I was. If you know me well I can hear your snort of scepticism. It’s an Achilles heel, I guess. Impulsivity and a seriously bad case of naive and idealistic romanticism that I simply cannot put to bed, no matter how hard I’ve tried.
But I promise you, this time I was sensible. Level headed. She had made the decision to turn away, to say no, and I was accepting of that. It was still early, nothing had been found yet that couldn’t be lost also. But something must have changed her mind. The same intuition that seemingly pulled my own thoughts towards her. Because there was the photograph, then there was the lunch. Then for a time there was nothing, but it was a strange kind of nothing, perhaps a sort of anticipation or waiting, though really I should have taken my chance then and gotten out while I still could. But it was too late. A seed had been sown, watered and nurtured with excitement, possibility and reckless abandon.
The next time we met it was stormy and turbulent outside. Yet within all I could see and feel was a spark growing and a feeling that my intuition was perhaps right, that this was a grand sensation and not something I should dismiss or run away from. In a rare moment of candidness, I shared my sentiments with her, and expressed my belief that she was feeling this same not entirely ordinary feeling that I was carrying with me. She met my gaze and my declaration with uncertainty and laughter and in that moment my suspicions were confirmed and I knew that she felt it too. We met again soon after and it was here that I found an intense intimacy that I’d not felt for a while, though it was something that lasted for seconds, fleeting, a moment perhaps.
And in that space we struggled through nervous tension to a resolve, I thought. An implicit understanding that yes, this is some kind of moment and feeling, and we ought not be scared of the uncertainty, rather we should be buoyed by it, carried to shores unknown.
Yet when we came together again the doubt had returned for her. The twist in this story was that of another man, and yes perhaps that cheapens the romance of the narrative, and is a sign that really the whole enterprise was mistaken to begin with. But she told me, this man is not love, he is comfort and safety. He is the antidote to a naive belief in the transcendent. He is the cold hard pragmatism that we all need to embrace at some point, reluctantly or otherwise.
So perhaps she was scared, scared of the unknown, which was me. And who could blame her. I would have liked to assure her that leaping forth into the void would have us falling not into darkness, rather into love. But who am I to make that assurance. Uncertainty gnaws at me just as it does for her. And where does it leave me now. Here I am again.
So it fucking happened again. Jesus Christ almighty. It may not have worked out, and here I am again, and yes I have a smile on my face because despite the dreary predictability of it all, I fucking love leaping into the abyss, taking my chances. I tried rationality once, and it was awful. Not for me the dull simplicities of sensible decision making. How did it end up this way? Well. It began with a conversation where we couldn’t even remember each other’s names. It middled with drug fuelled conversation and it ended with intimacy. Intimacy and the kind of night that is born of boyish fantasy; old records, cigarettes, more drugs, sleep, caresses, smiles and whispers, If you know me well then you know that this is enough for me. Between the joyous cliches and my own naive romanticism, I was gone. Leapt, falling and tumbling.
It didn’t take long for my dreamy haze to be intruded upon by the realities of the situation, but you’d be foolish to think that I was going to let something as mundane as real life ruin the fun I was having. Pragmatism, be damned. And yes, I do yearn for something with permanence, something with longevity. But truly it’s just the moments that matter, and there were moments burned into my mind’s eye that I will not forget in a hurry, not because they were of a recognisable significance but simply because they were intense, they were intimate, and they were ours alone.
And so it didn’t work, at least not in any concrete sense. The uncertainty was too much for her and really who could blame her; the uncertainty can be too much for all of us to bear. But it wasn’t enough to puncture my misty-eyed optimism. Beneath skies that were so sunny and blue on a kind of day that made me want to weep it was so beautiful, I reminded myself that I was lucky, so lucky. These experiences are not new, not for me, not for anyone. They are deeply, painfully familiar, and they do not become easier. But there are other joys in my life, and I need to gently remind myself that there is nothing gained when there is nothing ventured, and that a little perspective will take you a long way. Before her it was someone else. After her, there will be someone too. And perhaps that sounds like it diminishes the importance of those very few moments that we shared, that really we were both just interchangeable pieces and that the *who* of it didn’t matter, only the *what*. But I can’t believe that. She suggested to me that perhaps we were acting solely upon impulses sexual, wanting to externalise those physical desires that made us ache inside. And yes, that was probably true. But I can say with clear-eyed certainty that it ran deeper than that. If I can only hold into one belief, it is this: Two souls meet occasionally in the seas of chaos that make up our world. They can dance and intertwine and maybe only for a few short moments they can connect with one another. And despite this transience, or maybe because of it, the connection *is* meaningful, and wonderful, and not just some truncated flash in the pan. So who am I to be miserable. It does not befit the significance of the moment. I am lucky to have held it in my hands, if only for a second.
I never know whether to play Side A or Side B. Really, I don’t. I listen to them both and in the end I think maybe I should just listen to the white noise at the end of the record because it seems a little easier to deal with. It sounds like the ocean, maybe.