It’s strange to me, somewhat disconcerting.
I look back at the time that has passed, those years that we spent getting to know each other, and unfortunately – stunningly – I just can’t remember a thing.
How does that happen?
I recall a vague sense of pride and confidence initially – I was convinced this round was different, since giving you so much time didn’t interfere with my work, my friends, my head. ‘I must be growing up,’ I thought, so smug and delighted. The first time we kissed, I drove back smiling and singing ridiculous songs to myself. Things were finally coming together.
You were different, and to be spoken to as an equal definitely fed into my internal superiority complex. Your fever for people and love made it easy for me to romanticize your place in my life, because I have an utter fascination for passionate and complicated people (especially those with violent temperaments). Presently I hadn’t been the prolific individual I imagined myself to me, so perhaps I was using you to assign a certain cultural affinity to myself.
Our romance was inherently utilitarian – no stifling dogma, no rules or boundaries. You’d speak frequently about all the women you’d want to be with, and none of those women were ever me. But I wasn’t offended, since this saved me from thinking I was invested. If our actions were inconsequential, you’d never be able to damage me. I made port in this mutual space, as open and luxurious and apathetic as I wanted. We were just two people who liked to talk often, meet often, sometimes we’d kiss. You were a good kisser.
And sometimes we’d fight. We’d cry into the receiver after that.
Funny thing was, I was always the one doing all the convincing, cajoling you to be somehow freer with yourself (you did not attempt to do the same with me). I realised after that you probably wanted the same things I did, but you’d give yourself up in the littlest of ways, always half-reluctant, your thoughts on stilts. Before long my good natured impatience about your games turned into real distaste and loathing.
We were given a few opportunities to acknowledge our differences and part ways, but we ignored them. But near the end it made me uncomfortable to think of you any longer, your name and your face. When it all blew up in our faces it wasn’t the kind of thing I’d have liked, I don’t like absolutes or finality but there was yelling involved, a sort of show-and-tell of the many ways I had wronged you and you’d wronged me
So I come back to wondering why I can’t remember you, the identifiers, the subtle things. Like your perfume, which was quite specific, but I can’t remember the notes anymore. The context of our conversations, the history of your life and my future, the story of our urban attachment. Looking at your photos now is futile exercise, I keep waiting for the hours and minutes to strike and remind me of how deeply I was moved by you, but instead I sit here wondering how my time disappeared into your foreign arms.
This gap in memory, almost a gap in consciousness… it shows I was callous, maybe hopeless. I kept telling myself over and again how my time with you was a dead-end, how my actions were ultimately meaningless, and eventually – my subconscious agreed with me. So when you finally left, my mind had nothing to hold onto. months, endless nights – vanished. Idly I’ll miss you but is it really you I miss? Or the company.
So I guess I have to take this, another modern lesson. Where it’s easier to be infinitely agreeably disagreeable because so what? You’ll make new friends. You’ll find someone else to sleep with, or to fall in love with. Look at things through a saccharine orange glaze, to hold someone’s hand for a little while longer, and avoid confronting the magnificent solitude of life. It’s easy to float on this way, another face on the characterless cruise. But fuck that.
I want the ocean to break, the tempest to swallow me whole, all my dark and dangerous decisions lightning strikes on my astounded face as I descend into the depth of my real self. Enough with the identity crisis.
Bear with me, for I am journeying still. The many seas I am yet to cross flicker in my mind everyday.
Reminding me, telling me…that I’m much more than this and I deserve much more than this.