I have thought about her a lot recently. It is tempting to rationalise too far, to say that I loved her because I wanted to save her, because she was vulnerable and alone, and my urge to protect her, to hold her while she cried and tell her everything would be all right transformed into something more. I could even believe that I wanted to control her, to mitigate that ever-present fear of having someone you care about leave you, because if she needed me so, she would never leave. But even through the selfishness of retrospect, I suspect that to give in to these reasons would be to do her a disservice. It would be to deny the things that made her who she was, rather than simply what she was. She was more than her problems, and she was stronger, more intelligent, and more beautiful than she gave herself credit for. Perhaps it was her vulnerability which drew me in at first, but it was her joy, her smile, her intelligence, the way she laughed and the way she looked, the way when I looked into those beautiful eyes my heart skipped a beat; these were the things which made me love her. These were the things which broke my heart when I knew she would never love me back.
If there is one thing in my life I both love and wish to avoid, it is paradox. This seems to be the theme of various periods of my life, as well as of my loves. If it is not inherent in my personality it is at least pervasive and very hard to alter. The idea that somehow life and love must always be bittersweet. This is not necessarily the nature of the universe, or of relationships. I know because I have seen these things for others, and it is different.
I think way too much. I have no idea how to stop this. Perhaps that is one of the reasons behind this expose. There are probably other reasons I have yet to realise, but I think one of the driving forces is the desire to put everything down and away for a while. To know I have dealt with it in some sense, and to know that I can leave it gathering dust for a while, until I am ready again to deal with it. Like an album you’ve heard a few too many times. Like a tune banging around in your head and needed to be shifted. Perhaps this will be a version of all those letters I wrote and never sent.
Another perhaps is that no one will ever read this. I think I love attention too much, I love the fact of having people know me too much to ever hope this to be the case. It is intended for publication. But it is also intended to help me organise and control my thoughts, to form them into something beautiful, to provide as best I can a sense and a feeling of that period of my life in which I thought the thoughts I could never control, because it, and the people who were there, have meant so much to me, and they deserve some kind of remembrance.
It would be hard for me to claim that this period of my life is any more or less important than any other, in determining who I am and who I wanted to be. I cannot say that about any particular period. What I can say is that it is by far the most extreme, in terms of the highs and lows I felt; or again maybe it just felt like that at the time. For better or worse, I have found a strange kind of definition in it; I will always be a product of, I will always be connected to that time, that place, those people.
There’s nothing remains but to show you. If you are still here at the end, you may be closer to knowing the people they were, the person I am or have been. Whether that is a good thing or not will be up to you to decide.