Tag Archives: Melancholy

Love letter # 717

And so it has come to this. The bridge that will not be crossed. The line that separates the wishing from the will not be. Yet although I have been here so many times before, I too am rent as though by newly inflicted wounds. For I know so well your side of the line. I know it like the memory of knives. Like blood pouring out so hard and dreadful you want to let it run to the very end. Till everything is washed away. That I should now be the carver of such cuts will surely set those ancient floods in motion once more.

Of course I did not mean this. Of course I hoped we might not arrive at this awful precipice. I felt so good in your presence, so seen by you, that I wanted it continue. Perhaps this was foolish. Selfish. It did not seem so at the time – but I concede that it may have proven so.

Yet for all that, here we are. With the brute animal fact before us. That for all of our absurd posturing, our dressing it up, our pretending we are somehow something other than what we are, desire is not a polite and constructed destination but an ocean far deeper than any philosophy we might dream of or insight we might proclaim. The river is made of blood. The castle built from bone. And dreams are made of skin. So easily torn.

I too have looked at another and wondered. How? What? Why the fuck not? Like you, I have scratched at the hard surface of love and rejection and found no satisfactory answers. Because there are no answers. No logical or ethical reasons. No conscious criteria.

So I will not insult you with a bogus explanation or political apology. You feel the way you feel and I feel the way I feel. Sure, we might try to conjure up nice, middle class theories about this but in the end they are all a denial. A way to paper over what all we fear. That sex, that desire, even love itself spring from wells we cannot control with neatly packaged ideas or the vanity of our so-called enlightenment. That in their narcotic thrall each of us shall surely fall.

I am in pain today but I know that yours is hotter. Darker. Perhaps full of fury. I have stood many times at that gate, waiting and hoping, trying one more time, turning over one more stone. Because of this I know that there can be no consolation prize. No quietly suffering nearness. If I were you I would be doing exactly the same right now.

Au revoir, my friend. I know there is nothing I can say, so I will say nothing more.

The space you once coloured with wonder.

The mundane so often reveals itself to be a quiet form of the profound. Like yesterday. Sitting watching a simple scene – a disjointed gathering of strangers at a café. It was as if I could see it all being played out unwittingly before me.

In one corner, a group of girls – young women in their early twenties – so full of easy confidence, so loud with the certainties of youth, so utterly assured of their attractiveness.

Two tables away, an Asian couple in their thirties with their adorable cherub in her stroller. The way the man doted on his girls. How the mother glowed when she stroked the child’s beautiful black locks.

Next to them – another couple. Older. Silent. Both prodding away at their phones, barely giving a flicker of notice to the waitress delivering their lattes. A tiredness it seemed – a routine resignation to a less than perfect but still comfortable arrangement. The fear of not having it.

And then – landing on the table next to me – the silver grey man who made the whole scene burn. A taut, unrelaxed frame. Drab utilitarian clothes; doubtless the same non-style he’s known for decades. But his face. His gaze. At the distance of despair. In the certainty of loneliness. Knowing that the table of young girls had not even registered his existence – and would not. Ever.

Of course, you know that this is why I’m writing. He was the mirror. A window abruptly opened on an emptiness I try not to ponder too often. The space you once coloured with wonder.

Love letter # 562

I won’t lie. It’s like a knife. This silence. Distance. The way that abundant promise has winked into nothing in just a few months. From everything to this.

I still don’t know why it went the way it did. What it was in you that said no. I guess it doesn’t matter. Explanations are a pale recompense.

Maybe there is something you value more than love. Or fear less. (Whatever.)

Then again – maybe it’s something in me. Or something missing that you couldn’t do without. Either way, I’m here now – and you’re not. And I think of you, even though I know full well you never think of me.

I used to be a romantic. I once hoped for the miracle of returning. Not anymore. Now I sit and breathe.

Au revoir, mon amour.

Love letter # 575

So now it has come to this. A wish to forget. To wipe clean the slate. To pass through the wall of remembering, with all its built up, sedimentary longing, and emerge stripped and minimal on the other side of you.

The shape of your name in my mouth – the sense of you which I conjure so readily – the memory of hands that ripples on my skin – the glow of a fire in my veins … these things I shall set aside. These I shall abandon to the distance of forgetting. No more a song, not even a whisper. Just the liberty of silence. Just the space where you stood.

For there not even ghosts shall linger.

I have loved you in such a way – so utterly – with everything there is. It has been my choice to do so; and I have been free to stop at any time. You have never tied me down. You were only beautiful. I only had eyes.

Eyes I now close. Eyes that will open again soon – looking elsewhere. Into the cleanliness of nowhere. Not even the trace of a footprint. Or a shaping of sand. Or a word that sounds remotely like you.

For then I shall forget. And begin.

Love letter # 460

I think of you and I wonder if you think of me. Actually, I’m fairly sure you don’t because, despite the obviously deep connection we share when we’re alone, you have made it plain that this will not spur you into action. Again, I have cause to wonder. Why? What stops you? Is it simply something about me or do you sit behind a line of deeply ingrained fear and doubt?

Then again – maybe you’re just faking it. Maybe that’s why you blank me in public. Eyes like walls. Not even a flicker. All that lovely nearness banished. As though I had imagined it.

Could well be that I’m a fool for falling for your ‘soulmate’ routine. For answering your calls. For opening up a door to my heart.

That’s it, isn’t it? I shouldn’t be pondering your motivations, I should be questioning mine. I could start by asking myself if I am prepared to spend any more time and energy on this. I could wonder instead if this was worth another syllable.

Yet even if it does stop here – right here in the next minute – the love won’t. Because I don’t fake things like that. So the only difference will be that I too will not be spurred into action. So now we can both be blank. Cleaner that way.

Love letter # 946

When I am alone with you it is so obvious. Our love. Like a tiny flower. Or two little kids at play in a garden somewhere. Just too beautiful for the world.

In public – in the company of the loud, the graceless and the complacent – it retreats. Not able to withstand the noise; let alone the sheer thundering ugliness of it all.

This is when we drfit apart and I am lost – wondering if we will ever find the courage or the space to bring this nascent joy to bloom.

And so we sit in our separate corners. Playing along. Privately loathing it. Angry with ourselves for validating the cacophony with our mute consent.

For we are dressed in the purple of bruises. Perhaps we are now just made of wounds. Left over from the memory of breaking. Cuts afraid to bleed again.

Yet our fear will bequeath us only the things we are scared of – and the love that we feel in our few private moments will become just another scar. Is that what we want?

I doubt it.

Love letter # 306

Back when I was even dumber I pictured the perfect girl. In later years – sensibly – I gave up on her. Until you came along. The walking, breathing form of everything I ever privately dreamed. Beauty in the guise of a woman.

Perhaps this is why I’m finding it so damn hard to let go. Part of me wants to fight for you – do whatever it takes, even if the rest of me knows there’s no point.

I guess I never really expected that you would materialise – so I prepared no defence. Had no strategy for the possibility that you might decline.

It is a sobering thing to discover that even your fantasies can turn you down. I am sure that in the time honoured way of the white, suburban middle classes the truth of this will get smoothed out into neat hindsight and re-configured as a ‘lesson’, complete with all the euphemistic language of self-improvement and other such beige coloured lies.

In the meantime, I watch you walk away.

Though there is an undeniably painful aspect to all this tissue box melodrama, I find myself taking some kind of heart from the mere fact of your existence. At the very least I will one day be able to say that she was real. That for a brief time I knew her. And that her light was just as I first saw it in a dream.

Love letter # 392

You will see me playing it cool, doing the right thing – being adult about it. You will notice that I leave early. That I no longer call. That I smile and nod on cue.

I understand the act that is required of me. I even agree with the reasons for it. Even if arguing the point was useful – which it so obviously is not – I would keep my counsel. I have given up on you. Bowed to the facts. Officially.

But that’s me pretending. Because tonight – like last night and most probably tomorrow – I conjure the possibility of your nearness. Sometimes I kiss you in these pointless dreams. And you always smile. Your eyes full of light. And there is an ocean of love around us and we are free.

But yeah, like I said – pretending.

So now, just in case you think I don’t mean it, even these words will fall silent. Though not yet this longing.

Love letter # 481

If once I hoped that time and distance would quell the fire – now I understand how spectacularly those gambits have failed. Seeing you again. So near. So fucking far away. What I felt to be true – still true. Beating steady. Counting time. Measuring the distance between dread and desire. For you sit opposite me now. Polite space observed. The quiet diplomacy of not touching. A candle burning down untended. Little flame sputtering. A swirl of smoke. A dissipation. And in the mad vermillion sky of my wanting – the wonderful flood of monsoon rain. Preparing to wash everything away.

Love letter # 398

When I remove the filters and look at things clearly, one question repeats itself in my head and in my heart. When I take stock of your actions – and contrast them with your words – I am left asking: how exactly am I meant to interpret this?

When you say that no one else has ‘seen’ you like I have, that you can finally be yourself around me but you choose not to be with me – how exactly am I meant to interpret this?

When you declare that our connection is the most beautiful and profound you can recall but you choose to pander to the wishes of family and the diktats of culture – how exactly am I meant to interpret this?

When you implore me not to turn my back on you and seek my reassurance but you maintain a frigid physical distance – how exactly am I meant to interpret this?

I could go on … and on … but you get the point, right? Or maybe you don’t. Perhaps you think I should be satisfied to wait in the hallway outside. Or leave the door to my affections and intimacies ajar, just in case you pluck up the courage to come in and take part in the kind of relationship you tell me you want.

Don’t complain about parental pressures and social expectations – or the wearing of ill-fitting masks – and then continue to cave in to them. You are not a child. You have choice.

Yes – and you’ve made it. With holding me off, with excuses, with radio silence.

And how exactly am I meant to interpret all this? I think you already know the answer to that question. So no doubt you will also understand the reason for this abrupt cloud of dust.