Sunday, March 22

I’m A Fool To Want Her

LIFE CONTINUES. WHY, if life did not continue then it would be a sham. People would ask what was going on, why the pause, and things would descend into chaos. Life continues and every morning I awake to endure it, perhaps feeling I have been a little shorted from time to time, but, that as a white male in the west, I cannot really complain, so I must accept life, its bitterness, its follies. Of course, I would wish for it to be easier, for me to have my own way! but that would make me a child – although I am a child, if not in body then in the biting of my fingernails.
The moon covered the sun and the London streets went dim, not quite dark but similar to that of deepest winter – we were momentarily back in late December or early January; I looked out and sighed.
‘Eerie, isn’t it?’ my friend said, a little joke of his.
My routine is undisturbed, yet carried out with a moroseness I do little to exaggerate. At lunch, finally alone, I go for my long drawn-out walks with my head cast down.
‘One of these mornings you’re going to rise up singing, then you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky.’ Lady Day accompanies me. She is my company during these times.
Things are tricky as we continue to cohabit, sans sex. Things have not changed since we were together.
On the train a young couple are stood nose to nose on their way to work. They are talking, laughing, kissing. She is simply beautiful; fair and delicious skin, carved elegantly up & down her skull, big eyes that look upon him in a manner that distracts me from my book. I stare. She smiles because she is so beautiful and I had that beauty and I saw that beauty flushed when she smiled. I stare at the young man, he does not notice me because he is wrapped up. It is only one more stop for me. The couple were exposed as we emerged from the tunnel, under the shadow of the Royal London Hospital.
Even work does little to distract me. I was glad to get out of the office on Thursday afternoon, with my friend. The site survey was very short and I suggested we pop into the pub next-door for a drink. The pub smelled of log smoke. It was quiet – a couple of labourers and a lone woman reading a paper at the bar – so we sat in the corner and both reclined. I told him—
‘L— broke up with me on Sunday night.’ The time was important to me, maybe to the story.
‘Do you still love her?’
‘Then go after her.’
‘It’s not as simple as that, man.’
As we talked – he surely talked the most about it than any other friend – he further revealed himself to be most like me.
‘I’ve had women before going—“I want a kid, Ky, let’s have a kid.” So I say—“What’s next? What’s the plan, then?” I don’t want kids. It’s all part of the plan. I don’t get it.’
‘Me neither. I see kids and I feel nothing. I think it’s an evolutionary flaw.’
He was adamant that I go after her, that things will get better, that if I love her then I should not give up. I repeated that it was not as simple as that, but that things happen for a reason – everything does – and that’s all there was to it. We travelled home in silence, he went in & out of sleep on the train, while I looked out of the window and tried to work out where I was.
As her treatment of me calls to mind how I was treated by another girl in my recent past, once again I consider couples on the street with a bewildering mix of contempt and envy. I regress. On & on I circle the city and sorrow swells in my stomach until I feel sick. This is no way to live. I must stop wallowing – but, o, I don’t wish to wallow, only to feel better. Some things you cannot help; a lesson I have learned a lot over the past couple of weeks.
Talking, laughing, kissing – that is all I yearn for once more. The great raptures of talking, laughing, kissing. To do all three at once! They are so simple and maybe everyone does a little of each now & again, but to do all three at once is surely a blessing.
‘At least my nan died thinking I had a girlfriend.’
It is her funeral on Monday. I am yet to pick up my suit from the drycleaners. We were told not to wear black, but I shall go in my black suit and a black tie and in polished black shoes. I am mourning. In the morning I shall travel alone – she offered to join me – and the service will be conducted in Hornchurch, a fond setting from my childhood, painfully juxtaposed against the misery of adult life.
On Wednesday she is moving out, into a houseboat, a dream of hers. The thought of it hurts my whole body with a pain I am not familiar with. I cannot get over the pain, nor can I reason with it. Everything continues. Then I will be here and she will be elsewhere, and life will continue.

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