Monday, March 14, 2005

valentines

A month ago - Valentine's time, twistedly - I got dumped by a lover. As I put in a blog post at the time, I wrote a thing about it but was unsure of whether to publish, so I decided to leave it till the dust settled a bit.

Re-reading it, I think it stands up, I think it talks about experience in a personal way that taps into something broader, wiser and more universal, so I think it's worth posting. So here it is.

==============================================

12 Feb 05

Having not seen her for several weeks I was really looking forward to a five day visit this week. Last I heard from her was an email last week making reference to sweaty activity and the possibility of entirely recarpeting her room with condom wrappers.

The day before coming down I rang up to finalise things. It wasn't what I expected. She's been seeing this guy for four weeks (not mentioning him to me at all) and now would feel guilty if me and her still saw each other.

I asked if I should still come down, she said very much so as it was all still a muddle and I would probably help her get things clear.

In fact this didn't seem to be the case, she had already firmly decided everything but I think she felt she 'shouldn't' dump me by phone.

She said it would be nice if I'd stay anyway. It would be exactly the same, just not shagging. Which is of course completely untrue.

The whole magic of being with her is that it's free and easy and open, we can just let time drift and talk about anything and everything. We were exploring what happened between us, feeling it unfold, seeing where it could take us and being open to it all.

When there's the introduction of boundaries and rules, we cannot do that.

If her hands on my body feel like effervescent light pouring into the core of me that make me awash with desire and peace, I'm going to want a lot of that sort of thing.

However, if whilst that happens I'm having to keep myself in check, not be overenthusiatic, if I know the feeling is not reciprocal then the magic is poisoned, the hunger becomes pained.

God it was so simple back in adolesecent monogamy world. You see each other, then you fall out, you hate each other and never see each other again. Nice clear black and white absolutes, you knew precisely where you stood.

But in this more advanced world where we give everything the best opportunity to shine, where we hold on to what is still good, where we don't deny the fundamental rightness that is alive between us despite any misfirings, it gets so much more confusing. 'Hi, you're dumped, but not completely, and I'll console you about it'.

It's wisest in the long run, it gives the best opportunity for still enriching one another's lives to the maximum extent, it's a hell of a lot more honest and brave and real than the adolescent dualism model. But in the initial aftermath before the dust settles, it is a right headfuck.

And I didn't want her to feel bad so I praised her (eventual) honesty on it, I tried to keep a clear line of sight on what is so wonderful about her, the reasons why it could be hurting in the first place. She was kind and cuddly and did her magnificent mix of warm soothingness and boistrous daftness; she held me for hours, then we had a pillow fight. And with that, and in my pathetic spaniel-beside-the-dinner-table needyness, I spent the night there in her bed.

And in the morning as she got up for work I knew it had to be over, that I had to leave. I watched her get up and get dressed. The number of times I've seen her beautiful form rise from the bed, watched her do things and been exalted by the intrinsic effortless splendour of her. But that day I knew I wasn't supposed to be looking at her like that. That she'd feel really awkward if she saw it. So I turned away.

And still I had this mix of feelings whose motive(s) I couldn't figure; wanting to be decent and kind? Wanting her not to feel bad on my account? Wanting to leave the door open to reunion? Glad of any contact instead of none?

So I stayed a bit longer, I shopped and cooked and had tea ready when she got home, we ate and then I explained I had to leave. We clearly both treasure something mutual, but it's going to take a while to get comfortable again. I have to go away and let a particular spark fizzle and die. I thought I missed her this time last week. That's nothing to what the coming weeks hold.

What we had wasn't something deep or all-important. It was something new, fizzy, ascending mysterious and compelling, brimming with tingly enthusiasm and potential. Every time we saw each other compounded it with a feeling of being right about this enthusiasm, and a feeling that it was just getting going. The awfulness is that nothing has gone wrong between us at all.

So whilst I mourn the loss of what we've had, if anything I mourn more the loss of what we should've had, what was rightfully ours, there in our hands, that has been dropped so swiftly and readily, no effort made to hold on.

There are times when you need to examine a hurt, to analyse what went wrong, why, how, what can you learn from it. The things that hurt most will grant the greatest wisdom.

There are other times when you need to shut up about it and go and get convincingly drunk. After 24 hours around her, this situation was now very definitely one of the latter.

Friends are great. With two swift phone calls at no notice I had a plan. We drank together, I drank a lot. I promised not to talk about her. Apparently I was loud and repeated myself a great deal and only talked about her towards the end of the evening.

Of course, I was never going to really not talk about her all night, but if I set out with that as my objective then I'm not going to only talk about her all evening and end up a blubbing snotfaced wreck in the corner.

I woke up at 3am fully dressed alone on a sofa in a dark room and took a while to realise whose house I'd ended up in. I couldn't have planned the evening to have gone any better.

I had several offers from lovely friends of places to stay for the weekend, but frankly I need some space with certain records right now. And I Fell Back Alone by World Party, Once I Was by Tim Buckley, Electric by The Church, all of Soul Mining by The The and more, many more.

Cos by whatever route, you do have to face this stuff. And you don't have to be scared of it.

Love, in all its forms, is like being alive only more so. The intensity and significance of everything becomes heightened, and that means the pain as well as the pleasure.

Too much time is spent dulled and not feeling much at all. This thing that has me right now squirming like I'm impaled on a spike is the feeling of having a living heart, unafraid to fall for someone. This is why we're alive at all.

As my friend Kirk says, when you get to this stuff don't flinch, outstretch your arms, flick your hands inward and shout 'bring it on!! BRING IT ON! How much can I feel here?'

Or as Henry Rollins has pointed out, the cutesy idea of 'when life hands you lemons make lemonade' is twee and impossible. But you can take those lemons and cram them into your mouth and chew on them really hard and make yourself shout 'I fuckin love lemons! What else have ya got?'

Oh, and her friend who told her that cos I'm seeing other people it doesn't really matter that she dumped me can fuck so far off. That is the most staggeringly patronising thing, both to me and to my newly ex-lover.

It implies that seeing any one person is like seeing any other. It denies the unique and beautiful magic that existed between us, and denies the individuality of both our hearts. It says that what was great and wonderful about her is readily got from other people.

It isn't, OK? Not from anyone else anywhere.

Different people bring different things to you, they bring out different things from inside you. Jesus, if the same thing or a close analogue were available closer to home why would I waste the fuckin train fares? She is not a generic commodity, she is uniquely wonderful, a mesmerising radiant beacon of tenderness and playful splendour who appears to inspire a sparkling joy in everyone who knows her.

I suspect she was just casting around for things to say to make her friend feel better and spoke without really thinking. I hope so. I pity anyone who really does feel that way. I pity anyone who's their lover. I pity them for having such a small vision of what love is and can be.

We have to dream as big as we can and then dare to aim to get there. And all along that journey we'll bellow out our marching song; 'I fuckin love lemons! What else have ya got?'

4 comments:

missbadger said...

merrick,

just discovered your blog, happened upon it via green fairy.

I am delighted to see that somewhere else in the 'blogosphere' there exists a person that has the very admirable affinity for badgers and mutual hatred of chris de burgh

i salute you!

missbadger :)

scarletharlot69 said...

Hi Merrick

Many thanks for your sharings.

> In fact this didn't seem to be the case, she had already firmly decided everything but I think she felt she 'shouldn't' dump me by phone.

I suppose, there is no easy pain free way of dumping anyone….

> When there's the introduction of boundaries and rules, we cannot do that.

It strikes me. I must confess that in my current condition that we all have ego boundaries, there are ego boundaries in any relationship, and that the whole myth of romantic love is the myth that the ego boundaries are gone. “I and my beloved are one”

We are not one, we are one and other.

> However, if whilst that happens I'm having to keep myself in check, not be overenthusiatic, if I know the feeling is not reciprocal then the magic is poisoned, the hunger becomes pained.

Yup!

> God it was so simple back in adolesecent monogamy world.

I don’t personally think it was. A darling ex secret paramour (and before anyone (not you Merrick) jumps to any silly conclusions, she wanted no public displays of affection and did not want a “relationship” with me, after all we are not compatible) said that she had lived polyamourously for a while always having at least 2 boyfriends on the go but had dropped back into the simplicity of monogamy. When was monogamy ever simple! It is all about ego cravings, ownership, possession and control. I have never claimed to be simple living, even though I beileve that the heart of the ethics that I subscribe to are characterised by simplicity. I am at least in theory (if celibate in practice boo hoo!) non monogamous on principal.

> You see each other, then you fall out, you hate each other and never see each other again. Nice clear black and white absolutes, you knew precisely where you stood.

Absolutely! Rather than question monogamous assumptions and the culture of feigned monogamy why not demonise and scapegoat former lovers. Or failing that it was the relationship that failed right?

> And I didn't want her to feel bad so I praised her (eventual) honesty on it,

I think, we must allow for our friends messing up occasionally, allow for ourselves messing up occasionally, and most importantly, be open and undefensive when we do mess up.

That a certain ex friend was not eventually open and honest with me, and indeed went out of her way to lie to me (refuse to tell me what I knew anyway, and while lying for the best of motives is still not acceptable, to lie for the lowest of motives, such as snobery, is pretty pathetic), that I want her out of my life forever.

Again, if we don’t fall below our own ethical standards occasionally, perhaps they are not high enough.

> The awfulness is that nothing has gone wrong between us at all.

> So whilst I mourn the loss of what we've had, if anything I mourn more the loss of what we should've had, what was rightfully ours, there in our hands, that has been dropped so swiftly and readily, no effort made to hold on.

Perhaps I have the t-shirt too Merrick. As I wrote in final letter

“I feel cheated, abused, lied to and unloved. I deserve better. ”

that is, I feel cheated out of a wonderful friendship that I have really needed these last two years. Still, she probably lost the best friends she ever had.

> Love, in all its forms, is like being alive only more so. The intensity and significance of everything becomes heightened, and that means the pain as well as the pleasure.

Yup!

> Too much time is spent dulled and not feeling much at all.

Yup!

> Oh, and her friend who told her that cos I'm seeing other people it doesn't really matter that she dumped me can fuck so far off.

To be dumped is to be dumped. My empathy and solidarity for what it’s worth.

> It isn't, OK? Not from anyone else anywhere.

It implies I suppose, that it is ok to disturb a non monogamous relationship that a non monogamous is ipso facto inferior to a mono relationship and so on and so on and BASTARDS!

> I suspect she was just casting around for things to say to make her friend feel better and spoke without really thinking.

I think you are right.

> I hope so. I pity anyone who really does feel that way. I pity anyone who's their lover. I pity them for having such a small vision of what love is and can be.

Well, from most people’s refusal to even question mono assumtions……..

I think Merrick, most people anyone meets are narrow minded, and most people have small vision, if at all.

> We have to dream as big as we can and then dare to aim to get there. And all along that journey we'll bellow out our marching song; 'I fuckin love lemons! What else have ya got?'

“and his dream shimmers still like the sunlight in winter, for a dream is a door to a world unknown

“and honour to the man, and honour to the dreamer, and to all the men and women the history books ignore” (Leon Rosselson Bringing the News from Nowhere)

Let the river run!
Let all the dreamers wake the nations!
Come!
The New Jerusalem

Fellow dreamer I salute you!

And my empathy and solidarity for what it’s worth

Bluebell E.

merrick said...

"Rather than question monogamous assumptions and the culture of feigned monogamy why not demonise and scapegoat former lovers. Or failing that it was the relationship that failed right?"

ha! very astute!

"if we don’t fall below our own ethical standards occasionally, perhaps they are not high enough."

That's magnificent, Bluebell. I'm going to be using that saying a lot.

Thanks for your thoughts and emotional solidarity, much appreciated.

scarletharlot69 said...

Likesay Merrick, I tell you these monos are part of a cult LOL!

"ha! very astute!"

why thank you!

'"if we don’t fall below our own ethical standards occasionally, perhaps they are not high enough."'

"That's magnificent, Bluebell. I'm going to be using that saying a lot."

likesay. Maybe that was self serving of me but likesay I messed up in my secret love life of a few years ago. And yes I feel I was open and undefensive about it. My first actual physical relationship was a crash course in honesty and I failed. I did what most people would have done.

I remember the end of a radio play about a puritan archbishop of yesteryear and the building of a statue of him. His ghost is credited with saying "ah, hypocrisy, that most useful of sin, it allows us to play a part"

perhaps hypocrisy does have a use, giving us the opportunity to cultivate some humility or be insufferable stalinists.

"Thanks for your thoughts and emotional solidarity, much appreciated. "

your welcome, go well

Bluebell E.