Why does it hurt so much to know that the person who was your lover continues to exist without you? That she enjoys experiences with someone else? That you are missing out on her life which continues so richly without you?
It never occurred to me to tell Mrs B about us*.
I felt there was nothing to be gained from magnifying the hurt. I do not believe in the gratuitous infliction of pain. I was deluded, yes, and thought I would not be a transient ‘affair’, but that my affair was the start of a great love that would endure … well, enough said, about the extent of my naivete … But, I never wanted to hurt someone wantonly along the way. Mrs B will never know the truth. And this is partly to protect Mrs B, but also out of some loyalty to B, on whom I would not wish pain in turn for the love we shared, no matter how imperfect or fleeting that was.
On the other hand, nothing I could say could permeate the reality that B and Mrs B have constructed. They are both deeply dishonest with each other and doubtless themselves, but cling on for dear life to their marriage, juggernauts in other women’s lives. They are welcome to that world. I will not be knocking on their door with a broadside proclaiming something they know already but are consciously ignoring.
* Let me clarify ‘us’. Not a grandiose attestation to something private, unique or special. Just the fact of what we did in our time together. The detail of the time when we were lovers. That we were intimate in a way that transgresses what most people define as a monogamous relationship. I mean only the detail of our intimacy that means B was, to the lay observer, cheating on Mrs B. I have no idea of the extent of the lies B told her. I leave that world to them. B was angry that I’d asked not to be involved in or informed of that world. In retrospect, I was right, because that world is the one which endures, not the fantasy life which was ours. I leave them their private world wherein I was only ever a temporary interloper.
She taught me a lot. When she fucked me over when I wouldn’t be her fuck toy anymore, she taught me, eventually, that I sometimes make wrong choices. She taught me that she was a wrong choice, albeit a choice, and that I had some responsibility to take for that. She treated me like I was less human than her, because I let her.
All the times she shut me down because I hurt from what she did to me, I let her.
I felt for her pain, but did nothing to mitigate my own.
I remember the earliest days when I’d established in my head that she had more to lose than I did, because she still lived with Mrs B, and losing that (and the million pound house by the Royal Park) would be a greater loss than anything I had to lose … I think now this shows that I was thinking only of the possibility of a happy ending when I put this half-arsed theory together, because in reality, being single and having invested entirely into a relationship with B, I had everything to lose. And I lost. I digress.
I let her never spend a night with me. I let her never be seen with me in the places that were important in her life. I let her never introduce me as something important in her life, I let her keep me as her accessory, but never with the status I craved. I let her keep the legitimacy from me I craved. I let her never give me certainty. I let her friends hate me, and the world make me the home-wrecking whore. I let her tell me that I was the one who would not commit. She said I would lure her in and throw her away, like I did with C before her, she said … She told me I was playing at being attracted to women and would leave her for a man in the end. Funny that she never committed. That she waited until I was ready to give up everything for her and she ran. That she went back into Mrs B’s waiting arms into the sunset, and it is me who is still on her own, three years on …
Ultimately, I lost my job. And soon I will be boarding a plane taking me to the other side of the world. Where I will be going entirely on my own.
I lost a lot more than just ‘stuff’ though. More than all of this, I let her belittle me and tell me I was never enough. She drew me into her crazy world where she said she couldn’t be with me, because she had to be with Mrs B, but that I was mad because I saw a direct conflict between the two lives she was leading. ‘It’s not a competition’, she told me over and over again. And then picked fights over nothing because … I don’t know really, maybe she wanted to push me away, maybe she wanted to show me she was in control, who knows, maybe she felt guilty that I was so besotted with her and she was lying to me and always knew she was going to fuck me over in the end, and sometimes it just overwhelmed her… maybe she just hated me deeply …
So it was. I’d boarded the Titanic, lived Titanic days. Today I’m acknowledging I’d been an agent in that, though I cannot quite rejoice in it yet.
(re: MacColl, K)
Although, quite clearly it will not.
Tonight, therefore, and on more than one previous night, I find myself thinking about casual sex, as preferable, and casual love.
This is a new concept to me. Acquiring love for the convenience of not being alone. Then I scream again. This is precisely the behaviour I abhor in B. Her love is casual and now she is all tied up and neither of us can make the more spritually satisfying connection that we would have had together. This is entirely her fault because I come with no ties and was the romantic utterly willing to throw myself into a life with B. Except we’ll never know if I was now, because it didn’t happen.
Strangely, tonight, that last sentence doesn’t come as a lament, but rather a statement of cold fact. A degree of resignation that B and I would not have worked together anyway, and the pain that we caused each other (look at this, now I can say ‘that we brought each other!’, not only blaming her), I can acknowledge now, was not merely a product of circumstance, but our nature. An augur of what would have been?
“… and then retreated back to their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…”
It has occurred to me to be destructive in a way I have never been before.
I know this feeling will pass.
But today I am so distraught, I am angry, and can think only that I became involved in some poisonous pact which has an intensely destructive power. I was an interloper. I should never have doubted that. So B and Mrs B have come out intact through this, and I have not only been smashed up and left dismembered, a broken boat there on the rocks, that didn’t see the lighthouse, but both B and Mrs B are standing by toasting my demise, stronger together than ever, revelling in their nonchalant power to destroy.
Received morality would probably say I deserved everything I got. I’m paying a high price.
(re: Fitzgerald, F.Scott)
Today has been mostly spent weeping in desperate lament for rejection. I could list all the empirical reasons why I know we could never have succeeded as a couple, but today it really hurts. My sense of rejection is overwhelming. And my sense of loneliness is overwhelming. And I have made the monumental error of crying solely on her shoulder when she is the originator of all my pain. None of this is helping.
At dead of night ’til break of day
endless thoughts and questions keep me awake
It’s much too late
You didn’t phone when you said you would
Do you lie?
Do you try
to keep in touch? You know you could
I’ve tried to see your point of view
but could not hear or see
I never knew ’til I met you
Crisis has hit already with you.
I have now lost track of all time, and even the time that was ours.
I told you at the start I was insanely jealous and what I’d done before. You wouldn’t tell me what you’d done, and proud to the end, I left it at that. I am wondering though, how when you are so violently jealous yourself you could do this to me. That you could go home every night to someone else and I would cease to exist without you, that my life would stop because then I couldn’t breathe.
My crisis is thus: I don’t have anything material to offer you, and you’ve doubtless much to lose now. You are not shifting for me, and of course I know you would have shifted straight away if I had the country house and the Aga.
But this isn’t the crux. I think you are in control of me. While I could accept that I would never have any more than the snatched glimpses and the illicit rendezvous, you told me I wanted more, you told me you wanted more, and made me want more, even as I couldn’t admit to myself I wanted that. But you had to have me absolutely, and you worked away at me until you did. Then offered me nothing in return. I’ve needed you so much, and you haven’t been there, and I have had no choice. Every time I see you it breaks my heart now because I cannot feel fulfilled knowing that loss is inevitable. My heart is burnt out already.
This should have been our time, when we wanted each other every second of every day, and we made something together; when we found out what it was that squeezed our lungs so hard we couldn’t breathe, what clenched our cunts with words and looks and thoughts alone. But now I feel we already missed that boat. My heart sinks at the thought of the loss of you every time you come around. My home is no longer my home, just the place you might entertain the thought of me when you itch, and so I scratch. You walk away every time and I have no control of that. Nor over what we do.
I dreamt about you when you first told me you loved me. And you were dancing around like a maniacal pixie and I could not catch you and you floated away just out of reach, but close enough for me to see your enchanting smile. This is what I have. All I have. And I have no power and you break my heart.
I really don’t understand you and what you do, and how you feel about me. Most of me thinks you are playing a game where you watch me break, and if I go too far you always reel me back. Because you need to be loved by more than just one person. That part of me doesn’t believe you love me, because I think I know how you love others. Your capacity for falling in love is so much greater than mine.
But I have fallen in love with you. And I’m petrified of losing you. I hate the changes we go through because I do not have the emotional experience to comprehend what is happening to us, and what might one day happen, other than what my experience tells me is inevitable loss. I know I have never felt what I feel for you before, nor wanted what I want with you.
(re: the Pet Shop Boys)