To You, My Love

There are times when the world doesn’t turn in our favour, times when the sweetness of your voice echoes too deep in my memory, times when I fear chance will not dare let us cross paths again. In these moments, my beloved one, there are some simple truths that give me great comfort.

All that you are, and all that I am – every constituent part – has existed since time began. Each part of you, each part of me, has been part of life for hundreds of thousands of years. Given that all we know is infinite, in the vast ocean of time there exists perfect iterations of us, made from the exact same constituent parts, and they will meet and love a thousand time more. No – in some perfect place, at the beginning and end of this cosmic cycle, everything that is you and everything that is me will exist as one entity. What joyous reunion!

As I watch upon a sea of lovers, I know that as I and you began as one, so they were once one with us. Every love story that plays out is another configuration of us, another love story we have lived in time, another life we will live in time.

And for all that I know: that I am forever with you adrift in eternity, that one day these configurations of you and I may unite and love perfectly – that makes this world much easier to bear. I will love you as countless fathers, brothers, and sons. I will be the one you love a million times, and I know I will love you once more.

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This House

This is the house where we grew up. We filled it with laughter, with  friends, with time. But there were spaces that grew in this house; gaps in the walls, cracks in the skirting boards.

Those spaces were filled with ghosts, ghosts that would leak out into our hallways until the air was so thick we could hardly see each other. A hazy miasma would slowly fill each room, and soon we would only feel the dim flicker of our own mind alone, not able to see the other. The haze pulled us apart, and through the fog of time years leapt.  I found myself in new houses, but as I looked in each mirror, it was you I saw, reflected on the bathroom tiles, a shadow.

Guided by an unseen force, I found myself back at the house. This house, where we grew up. I remove each charred pebble in the fireplace one at a time, and start the flame anew. A light, a soft glow, a simple warmth. Gently, each ghost fades away, and I can see you again, smiling back. We tend the fire together. This room is safe.

We will walk through this house again, and shine light on each room. We will drive away these ghosts together. It will be our house again.

Coffee

We first met in a coffee shop, 6 years ago, around the middle of august. It was painted red, filled with cheerful chintz. There were cheap wooden tables and uncomfortable chairs. The floor was decorated in mismatched tiles, and dusty in the corners. The menu was on a chalkboard, printed in faux handwriting. They used the most inauthentic Italian names for their drinks. The lights were diffuse, and wall-mounted. I remember slyly catching your gaze, and the sudden tension that gathered when our eyes locked. I remember your hand on my knee under the table. I remember kissing you when the waitress wasn’t watching.  I’m going to burn the place down. I want to watch it go up in flames. I’m going to raze every last fucking place that reminds me of you to the ground and till the soil with salt. I won’t stop until each memory of us together is cleansed in fire. I’m sick of living with your ghost. I’m sick of this fucking town.

Diminishing Possibilities

When I was young, I never understood what was so special about childhood. Everyone said that there was some magic that would never be recaptured. Everyone said to enjoy what I had. Everyone said I’d understand when I’m older.

For years I assumed it was some special privilege or freedom from responsibility. Not having the stress or strain to keep a roof over your head or pay bills. I suppose in some ways that’s true, but that isn’t the reality of what was lost. Even when young, I felt responsible and burdened with worry. I’m not the only one. Some of us were born to be filled with concern, others had troubles thrust upon them at a young age and had to stand up to the responsibility.

I guess some people really did skip and jump carefree as kids, and never really thought about tomorrow. That wasn’t me. It wasn’t us.

Perhaps those people were the ones who woke up as an adult and realised they’d lost their carefree selves and felt like that was the thing they wanted to make sure their own kids appreciated. Perhaps those are the people who drink, smoke, take drugs to try and recapture that state.

No. It wasn’t being carefree that we lost when we grew up. We lost a field of endless possibility.

When I stared upwards, as a kid, the world felt infinite. I worried, but I had a faith that I would pull myself up and out to somewhere better. I had ambitions and dreams, modest ones, but they filled me with hope.

As an adult, I feel each day the infinite field of possibilities drawing ever tighter. I count each loss and missed opportunity that slips through my fingertips. I look at a growing pile of small failures and know that I lost my chance to ever recapture them. There are dozens of tiny forks in the road that could have been my life that I didn’t have the strength, talent, skill or bravery to cross. Each fork in the road closes a door on thousands more opportunities and each decision makes my life a narrower path.

When I was young, every day opened some new door, some new possibility, some new hope.

Now, as the days tick into years, I feel doors closing, possibilities becoming impossible, and the heavy drag of being so far from where I’d hoped.

I can still close my eyes and be carefree. I can still laugh, indulge in childish frivolity, allow myself that naïve joy. But I can never, never make up for those thousands of losses, the millions of near misses, and I can never again feel that field of infinite possibility stretching out in front of me.

We grow old and we weave ourselves in to boxes. Only a few of us ever break free again.

Superstition

She has a superstition. Whenever the pain of missing you is unbearable, she lights a candle in front of the small sandalwood idol of Krishna that she keeps hidden in her bedroom. She knows Krishna will understand. When the candle burns the room fills with your scent, and for a brief moment she feels your arms clasped around her shoulders in a lingering embrace, your hair brushing lightly against her face….

Then it fades.

She was sure one day she would light the candle and you would be guided back to her.

She lit the candle, and the flame quickly flickered out. The doorbell rang. Her heart stood still and heavy; she was sure you would be there. But it was not you. It was a letter from your life-partner, asking her to stay away from your funeral.

Assembled By Machine

She stood a few feet from the teleporter. She had a young face, veiled by long, straight white hair, with pale blue eyes that were once brown. She was becoming a faded xerox of herself, copied so many times by the machine. Thousands of times she had been destroyed, atom by atom, and thousands of times she had been reassembled. Each time a little imperfection had been introduced, and gradually the imperfections cascaded into nebulous problems.

Usually, after teleporting, your skin and eyes regain their colour within a few days. Her eyes would never return to normal, and even her new hair grew back white. Her memory was starting to fade and her personality starting to shift. The little spark in her eyes had been removed.

She was a husk, and she could no longer remember why she had destroyed herself to come here.