It is impossible to love without experiencing heartbreak. We’ve all felt it and in order to reach happier times, you must weather it. Sometimes, we give our love and end up with ashes. Like many things in life, love is a gamble. There is nothing more profound to say than that. I was inspired to write the piece below by Meshell’s song, Fool of Me which is haunting, oh so true and beautiful….
Love lie lorn on a floor that was once solid. I felt the warm, impenetrable face of the wood beneath my cheek. I breathed in dust, vapors du wax and the spent dreams of the faceless which lie forgotten around me. I could not move. I could not move. The weight of an unfathomable sadness bore down on my being. My eyes were shut, squinched tight, as if shutting out reality could help me find the truth which evaded me. Truth had departed. Why when we seek happiness do we so often find in its place a collapsing emptiness that folds in on itself? They say to live is to dream, to drink, to eat and partake of our desires and take chances. They said. They never say how it felt when terra firma disappears and dreams are eviscerated by disappointment.
In my dreams, Vivienne was flying northwards, a pinpoint on the horizon that winked like diamonds. The sound of her beating wings were tinkling chimes that beckoned me to follow or be left in their wake. I ran to keep up but was kept from my goal by the weight of my burden.
Memories, ruthless memories, played unceasingly across my inner eye, the one I could not shut. I felt her hand, lovingly graze my cheek on our first date. I smelt the bewitching scent that was her pheromone signature wafting upwards to tease my nose as she leaned in to whisper private things that only we shared. I saw her smile, brilliant with the light of a thousand suns, flash at me as we drove across the stark, arid beauty of the moon drenched Sahara. I heard her deliciously infectious laugh, infused with child like wonder, as we soared on swings or spent a day careening skywards then earthwards, hit repeat, on the many labyrinthine rides at Great Adventure. I saw us, Vivienne and me, drunk on an art filled day at the Metropolitan lying in the sun. We stared up at the great blank windows on the East side of the museum, drinking wine and nibbling at gourmet treats. I remembered the way the grass cradled our forms and how with each turn her cotton dress caressed her thighs and ass then lovingly slid its sweet hand between her thighs until I was jealous and bloated with passion that begged release. In my mind, we were all skin and teeth, sinew, tongue, bone and liquid fluidity. The consummation of my oral desires reaching a crescendo as she emitted long, slow, piercing, jazzy moans. Then, my mind became quiet and in this memory she was quiet too, her wild spirit tamped down, hair slicked back, in an emerald velvet dress drinking Veuve and making her rounds at my gallery opening. I smiled to see the mask of adultness and not the wandering, bewitching, adventurous girl child whom became my lover, that lived within.
Tears came then, one by one by one, to fill the saucer of my lids begging release. Sweet surcease, as I gave in and opened my eyes to a watery world. A watery world. It was here that she had left me with the memory of her kisses beginning and dying on my lips. I knew her body now as well as I knew my own, the mole behind her ear, the imperfect beauty of a cloud shaped birth mark that adorned her lower back, I knew the honey-tan-chocolate landscape that was her breasts, the valley in between and the whorl of her fingertips that memory had engraved upon the skin of my lips.
The world felt wrong, I was wronged, bereft, lonely and empty like a husk with all the tears that had spewed forth in the 162 hours since she left. She left me for greater things, a better job, a richer lover, another continent and I could not compete. And so I lie upon the floor for untold hours listening to our favorite CD’s on repeat. The phone rang, the neighbors banged till they grew tired, the alarm went off and I registered all this in the most distant parts of mind. Myself shut down until all I became was distilled to a curled up embryo left behind on someone’s floor plagued by memories, tears and loss. Who would save me from me? I was not up to the task of rediscovery as my splintered selves, the one whom had left with her and the wretched soul that she had left behind struggled to merge. A whole day passed before I could move to the sheltering arms of our bed. There I slept and woke consumed by dreams of running on an endless empty beach. No matter where I ran I ended up in the same beautiful pain filled place.
It was Giselle that woke me. Seven days of uncharacteristic silence bought her to my door with flowers, chicken soup and books by Nin, Morrison and Maya in tow. She opened the door with her key and held me in her arms and listened to the disjointed ramblings of how my fairytale ended. There was relief in that to expel the nightmare in my head to another human being. There was relief in finding compassionate solitude in the arms of my friend. She dried my tears, fed me, read me books, washed my hair and held me as I cried myself to sleep. She took off work and stayed with me for four days until I was a former semblance of myself, divided but standing, once again.
Life would not stop. Twelve days later, I emerged changed, missing a piece, haunted, more somber, less trusting, more cynical and I learned to live with the most silent and pervasive of enemies, grief. Ever after my life was divided into before and after Vivienne…