Ordinary People — John Legend
I am plauged with memories, unsurety and confusion. Two nights ago, I cried myself to sleep, powerless to stop my own tears, and I tried.
Part of this has to do with my approach to destitution and itinerancy again. The biggest part is the fallout from TMG (Boobie) calling.
I just cannot get him out of my mind. I am 17 again, obsessed with him, his voice, his words; trapped in memories of two summers half my life ago.
I’ve been torturing myself. Wracked with fresh grief, and both disturbed by the intensity with which the old pain has returned. How in God’s name can it feel so painful after so long?
I’ve combed through all my evidence. My evidence that survived The Great Fire of 1997, that is. That night in a fit of anger so bitter and poisonous I almost choked on it, I burned every letter, every card, his clothes, his photos. Except, some of it survived. I failed then as I have always failed, to purge all evidence of his passage through my life. I carry him in my heart and my luggage. Done it so long, to lose the weight of it would be a worse kind of suffering I think.
I’ve gathered, journals, two devoted mostly to him tracking me over four years, and all the others that make reference to him (which is to say, all of them.) They contain enough insight into how I’ve felt for me to be reduced to tears just for the reading of them; what little evidence that remains: a few photos; the two letters that escaped from a little more than a hundred, one of them The Breakup Letter, and the other written a year later declaring his unending, unconditional love for me; I have combed five years of e-mail archives and retrieved what little remains of the e-mails we’ve exchanged over the years after a major hard drive failure two years ago…. I’ve ripped my room apart to make a small pile on my bed.
The story of he and I is buried in these tangible things, and the puzzle of my life for the last fourteen years is buried there as well…. it is a story both sketchy if taken by evidence alone, but my memories bind them together… the kisses and whispers and absolute acceptance, letters, photographs, e-mail …. and it all amounts to one thing.
I have never been able to put this man away, to shake him off and no matter what I try, what lover I take, what lover wants me, loves me allegedly, I am bound to him in a way that seems to defy all other logic, action and rationale. Defy even my resolution to burn it away.
I am a fool. I am a fool. I am a fool. All the roses and wine romance is burned away from me, gone with the last of my childhood I buried with this relationship. I should be the tough bitch right? The one who needs no man, needs no lover. I should burn all these things, say fuck him and move on.
Except, with him I am and have never been that. I’ve never been able to tell him to fuck off completely.
I’m kind of embarrassed to talk about this, to talk about him; to write about him at all. Embarrassed to admit to anyone that I still feel this way, that I have been daydreaming about him endlesslly since last Tuesday.
Here’s the bitch of it though… if I knew he didn’t give a fuck about me, I could have moved on. He loves me though, he is where he is, right now, doing exactly what I am doing for him… pining. I think about all of them, all the other guys I have tried to move on with, and you know, I don’t have even a fraction of the same kind of holding on. It may have been difficult in the beginning when we parted ways, but ultimately a year, three years, five years later, I don’t think about them at all. Because none of them loved me… not really. To be truthful, I didn’t love them either.
TMG, every day… not a day in 14 years has he not crossed my mind in some ways. I am plagued by the question, “Why?”
Why can’t I have him? Why?! Haven’t I been a good girl? Haven’t I done the “If you love it let it go,” thing? I mean, I have never, ever been a bitch about this. I have never criticised him, chastised him, I’ve never hurt him in the way he’s hurt me… shit, I’ve never hurt any man in that way (no matter what they say). I’ve tried to live a good life, and I am imperfect, wholly so, but I’m a good person.
I find myself praying and asking God, the Universe and any Good Spirits at work in the world, that if I can’t have him, could I please have back my heart so I can love fully again. Yet, that awesome number… 14 years… and it hasn’t happened.
What wouldn’t I do to see that face again after eleven and a half years? I can’t think of anything all that shit they talk about in songs and movies about climbing high, swimming deep, walking long applies here. Except nothing could compare to what I’ve already done, which is love completely and let go; been noble and dignified although everything in me has screamed a protest on more than one occasion.
I talk myself out of wanting it, hoping for it–to see his face again. But the part of myself I almost never share with this blog… because I can’t expose the open nerve at the core of the loneliness, horniness and longing I report here from time to time… I jealously guard the part of my heart that he has. I may be thinking or writing, about YMK, PHG, RBB, KSS, but in my heart I wanted them all to be him. Some version of him I could settle for.
You know I said I met this man a few weeks ago. In the last few days, I realised what it was I was attracted to… his height for one (6ft 8) and his face, both reminded me of TMG. As soon as I met him, and the more time I spent with him, looking at his face (well looking up at his face mostly), the pangs for TMG were like niggling little pricks. I ignored them, then he called and when I dug out the pictures, the resemblance was remarkable. It wasn’t even something that acknowledged until he called and brought all this shit up.
Yesterday I got three buses and made my way to Hampstead Heath. I stopped in Hampstead proper and bought a butter squash, some yellow roses and some honey. I had packed everything else I needed and once there, squatted next to one of the swimming ponds up there and fixed the squash and left it for Oshun buried behind some lush bush at the edge of the pond. It’s not quite what I would have done in Trinidad, but to be honest, I had no one else to turn too, my heart was so heavy and Oshun the force in the world that handles Love in it’s myriad forms; I went and appealed to her for help.
I sat there at the bank of the pond and sang my heart out… I wish I could have gone swimming… I love to be encased in water again. I so understand why people go to Barbados on holiday… I miss the sea and I miss rivers.
I am counting minutes, seconds and days until July 21st. Just to hear his voice again, Just to hear him tell me he loves me again, over and over.