Two years ago today, I was pushed off a cliff.
The person who shoved me was the person I’ve loved most in my life, the woman who has loved me the most and the girl I’m still in love with now.
Since then, I’ve been falling and failing and flailing. I’ve reached out to people around me, desperately grabbing and, in my desperation, driven them away. To the outsider, it looks like I have a healthy, diverse set of friends. Only I know that when I’m on my own I find no succour in these relationships. I dream about her, write about her, sing about her.
I fantasise about one day accidentally discovering some kind of Einstein-Rosen bridge, being able to travel back in time and “fix” everything. Or, at the very least, send data into the past. Maybe this post, to warn my past self to change my ways. But we’ve all seen time travel films. We know that altering the past never seems to go as it should, it seems to be a tech-age re-telling of the stories of mischievous djinns and three wishes.
Back in reality, I find myself breaking down increasingly. Crying in public is never a good move for a middle-aged man. Maybe this instability doesn’t stem only from losing this person. Maybe it’s the added stress I’ve been going through, family illness, my own health worries. Or maybe I’m just kidding myself in pretending that I’m not irreparably shattered.
Two years ago, 31st October 2008, she left and I, not realising that ‘that was it,’ went out to DJ. Here’s the photos from that night -> click. It was a strange night. I think I was in shock and hadn’t realised then that I was falling. I certainly didn’t imagine I had two years of screaming ahead of me.
In the car today, these lyrics came on:
“We have all the time in the world
Time enough for life to unfold
All the precious things love has in store”
When you’re first in love and past the initial frenzy, the above can seem seductively true. It’s so easy to bask in love, to grow accustomed to being calm with someone. To relax and just be.
The truth is that the song, particularly in the context of the film it comes from, is telling us the exact opposite of its denoted meaning. Take every sentence and parse it as its opposite: we have no time, there isn’t enough time for love to unfold, there’s nothing in store.
I think about her when I don’t want to. I feel like I’ve lost an arm: I’m disabled by her absence. Nothing is as much fun, colours are less vivid, jokes are less funny, the life is draining out of the world around me in my long tumble into nothing. I daren’t sit quietly in the house because I find myself listening out for her singing in the kitchen. I miss that so much. Sometimes, I’d sit upstairs and listen to her play the piano downstairs. She’d improvise such beautiful music.
Of course, this all sounds horribly bleak because I’m a fractured man. You may be reading this and be happily loved-up. If that’s so, I’m genuinely happy for you and very envious. But please let me leave you with one entreaty: go to your lover now. Hold them tightly. Kiss them. And just countenance, if only for a second, losing them as I lost mine.
It’s a fuck of a long way down.