Her love was like a mirage. From a distance it was a shimmering delight you could almost trick yourself into believing was real, but as you got closer it would fade out to nothing. It was all she had to give and I had none of my own so I took what I could get. I stayed at a distance for as long as I could, standing on the mount looking down on her oasis. It was all for me, just as long as I kept my distance.
Other boys would stumble across her jewel and thinking nothing more than to get their lips wet on her viscosity they would rush down, only to be greeted by a mouthful of sand. I watched all this happening from my vantage point on the hill, safe in the knowledge that the mirage would always stay intact for me.
Then I messed up. Or she did, it’s hard to tell now looking back – with all the other details getting in the way of clear-shot memories.
Our love was a sickness evolution. The banging of pots and pans; all noise and pointlessness. We slammed our heads together relentlessly, like mountain yaks dueling for supremacy, to take our minds off the utter uselessness of our coupling.
I drank heavily in the early days of our union. Not drinking to forget and not to remember. Not drinking to dull the vacuumous dragging of my soul into the pit of fire and knives. I simply drank to keep up with her. To remain ‘entertaining’ enough for her. To feel wanted, to be needed – if for no other reason than to supply her with more alcohol. I craved companionship. My day-to-day job kept me in stead with untrustworthy men. Ruthless men. And for all the wrong that our relationship was, I could at least always depend on the kind of honesty that only 2 litres of chardonnay can bring.
What I didn’t realise at the time was that beneath the numb, sodden and damn near flammable exterior I was healing. It was as if the booze was giving my feelings a reprieve – a time out. To rest and recuperate. The guilt that had me knotted up as tight as a 90 year old arthritic hand a year before was draining away under the misty veil of inebriation.
But like all tragedies when I finally realised this it was too late. I found that I had inadvertendly wandered down from my perch only to find that same dry dust bowl that all the others before me had perished within. By then there was nothing else to do. We sank together in that sand trap of listlessness we mistook for love.
We came together as a result of tragedy and our relationship was a series of daily tragedies.