These pages have been written before, the ones with your name changed, and mine turned inside out and hanging upside down. The two of us unrecognizable, but real none the same. Your voice sneaks in far too easily, the shape of your eyes, the lazy left side of your smile, and the way you hold your coffee with both hands, reverently, as if its a gift. I try to forget. Negotiating a deal with my memory, a give and take of feeling, while I search for the never there “off” button of love. I used to think I fell in and out of love quickly, rashly, with reckless abandon, but I think I was always a little wrong. I mistook love for desire, for attraction, for lust or sometimes even boredom. But when love showed up one day it knocked all those I perceived as love, all the mistaken love and love lost, it had been half-truths, or perhaps just stepping stones to what really falling would feel like.
Sometimes I think of love as devastation. Seems dark and miserable though, doesn’t it? I’ve always been the type accused of naive optimism, though a thought like that catapults me into the other team. Shooting me straight into the den of the pessimists, all sharp toothed and snapping jaws, growling and shaking their manes. I don’t feel like a lion though. I don’t feel like a predator. So, they eat me alive, piece by piece devoured until all there is left is my bones to pick from. That’s what I mean by devastation. Love left me feeling stripped to the bone and picked clean. Or was it that love made me feel as such after I lost it?
You may quarrel with this, arguing that I didn’t lose it, that it still exists in that “love never dies” kind of way. You might say that you write me into lines and lyrics, that you still dream of my laughter, that you can still hear my voice lifting at the end like a question, or how I curled my body so close to yours as we slept. You may say it still exists, somewhere in the spaces between where you are, and where I am, but I’m not so sure anymore. There are things that seem so impossible, so incredibly difficult to cross over and embrace, things that have changed the construct of a you and a me together.
But do I still love, and feel devastated by it? Do I still see you in my mind when I close my eyes to sleep each night? Do you still haunt my dreams, both of night and day? Do I still love you?
The ocean waves continue, despite droughts and changing tides, no matter of Tsunamis and climate shifts, still they continue their ebb and their flow. The sun still rises in the sky, the sunset still comes, they still say we need rain in Los Angeles as they predict more sun, and yes, I still love, and love you. I still do.
But what does it matter now, what consequence, or lack thereof, is there to me loving still. We reside in the same city, but it may as well be an ocean away. Our wires cross occasionally, words thrown from your side and to mine, and volleyed back, because its hard to stay silent. I still drive by your street, but I can’t seem to go further, I can’t seem to get close enough to park in front of your house. I still dream of it though, the path to your door, the three steps up, the grain of wood, the window panes, the threadbare welcome mat that we bought on Venice Beach, together.
And that’s just the outside, the peripheral, the entry. Everything past the threshold is too heavy for anything but past midnight dreaming. I need to be sank into my subconscious, within the safety of REM sleep, to recollect that imagery. The coffee pot, the record player, the cream colored duvet, dog bowls, acoustic guitars, and the smell of you everywhere. It is all just a little too much for me now. It all hurts too much now.
It devastates, but it creates, too, in words, in writing, in the way I sing-a-long to songs that carve themselves into my insides, swim around my bloodstream, play with my pulse. I may be devastated, I may be dark and prickly and raw, but I still wouldn’t change a minute of it, of being knocked like that, of loving like that. I wouldn’t trade anything for it at all.
Absolute Beginners :: Carla Bruni