He writes stories with short, crisp sentences, but finds a way to insert semi-colons into them and that was what made me love him once. Well, not love-love, but enough to laterally lift me into a sort of frenetic compulsion that was borne out of the way the slant of his S’s seems to say, ‘I’m a stranger; tell me everything.”
Everyone else was getting married and making babies in a display of staunch Fordism, while I was working twelve hour shifts, followed by two hours at the gym, followed by one of eating alone. It is a fate worse than any, a fate I often prized over all else, coming back to an empty house, inebriated in its colour-coded splendour. And then there was a stranger, and another, and another.
There’s no story here. I was just overwhelmed by an urge to write, and even more so by an urge to write to you.
I once tried to take this man to your Rose Garden. I wanted him to see it in its unapologetic glory. But he was in a suit, and it was a warm day, and the laptop bag in his arms was heavy, so we sat by a bench about ten minutes or so off, and never quite made it. He was a good man, but it was an awkward encounter. We had kissed before in another country, at first by accident, and then not by accident, but on that bench our hands just fiddled away from each other. He was the first man I kissed ever; he tasted of fine cheese and salt and paint. But then we were running to St Pancras and apparently there’s a rule which says you can’t kiss when you fast, so I suppose I broke my fast with fine cheese and salt and paint that day. Your Garden, I never went back to it. It was one year to that day, give or take a few, and I was breaking my fast to Bloomberg, because that was perhaps my eternal love. That man, things just didn’t work: he tried so hard to be good for me that he stopped being good to me. It was sad, he cried, I cried. It was messy. I vowed never to kiss again.
The man with the slant on his S’s, he’s gone too. He just disappeared one day in the afternoon. I loved him like I loved myself, because he was my own reflection, and because he never tangibly existed to begin with. It’s complicated. I should tell you some time. He made me write and then he pushed me away and out and pulled and tugged and made me write more. I hope he’s okay, whoever he is, and wherever.
I don’t know what an epic love story is. I feel like I’ve had many, though I’ve had none. Maybe one day, I’ll write independently of them all, but then perhaps, I don’t need to. In the meantime, there are strangers from Dublin, their eyes so blue and their voices so titillating, who sit drinking on stages, recounting stories from momentary loves that inspired them. One day.