I am sitting in my room, surrounded by papers and books and newspapers and magazines. Old tickets, pictures, letters. In some ways they say something about my life; in others, they only provide the slightest of clues. Detritus of a life. A collage of memories and emotions, good and painful.
The emotional impact of going through things that have sentimental meaning is powerful. Take, for example, a letter written to me by a long-ago lover, a charming Englishman who was working on his Ph.D. at Cambridge when we met and shared weekend trysts in London. Coming from different parts of the country, we would always find each in British Museum, in the gallery with the Neo-Assyrian wall reliefs, and usually in front of my dear, dying lioness.
In any case, Andrew's words can still conjure up feelings of great happiness in me:
It was so sad to leave you in such an unceremonious way today. There was something deeply inappropriate about your just having to step off a Tube and disappear after after such a beautiful happy (for my part, at least) two days. Thanks for everything, baby; for fixing up the den of trysting, for being so beautiful and so much fun, for sharing in such a delicious adventure.
I'm really sorry for marring this by a couple of pillocky outbursts. What I want is what we've got--it fulfills all my dreams just now, and I've not reason to construct straw men. I do trust you and believe you, my love, and I want us to enjoy just being together in our friendship--nothing must spoil it. I start behaving like a rational man from NOW.
I smile when I think of the 22-year-old I was, making my way around England and Ireland, learning, reading, and writing poetry. Absorbing the landscape and searching for myself, although I didn't know it at the time. Thinking about his courageous knowledge of self and acceptance of criticism, and a love for me that meant a willingness to change. Haven't seen that in anyone for quite a while.
One of my favorite songs about nostalgia is Charles Trenet's "Que reste-t-il de nos amours" as he asks what is left at the end of a life: une photo, vieille photo, de ma jeunesse, Que reste-t-il des billets doux, des mois d'avril, des rendezvous, un souvenir qui me poursuit sans cesse.
I am trying to find the happy amidst the sad, but it's hard going. Talked to my brother today, which made it all the much harder. Apparently everything depends on C being willing to have a relationship with me, which will be a cold day in hell; I just cannot understand how a family lets her control so much. What a nightmare. More to follow on that when I am not beside myself in tears. Why does it all have to be so hard, so guarded, so awful?