Dec. 6th, 2010

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Near the beginning he said that a writer trying to describe something and failing was more poignant to him than accepting the impossibility of a description and falling silent before the enormity of a task. Sometimes I fall silent, but rarely at times like these.

Maybe that's one of the reasons he likes me.

He does still like me, he says.

Usually I can predict the end. Not necessarily how it can happen -- I never want to look at that space -- but in the days and weeks before I'll cry for no reason, I'll walk up to him in his kitchen and say "when there's no love to tie someone to me I worry that they'll leave me," and I'll start to alternately cling and detach.

He beat me to it this time.

The thing is I didn't expect it to be this way.

The thing is, I knew it would be like this.

I can't ever tell you what it was like. I'll pile up words here and he'll see them and maybe you'll catch sensory images fleetingly and it can never mean anything to anyone like it meant something to me, because though there was caring from his side the love was all from mine.

The very first time I was naked around him I told him the story of my tattoo as he touched it, and he didn't flinch. I said "when you do that it makes me feel loved" and I looked at him, and he kept playing his fingers over those green leaves.

I always looked at his hands. For the masquerade he drew on them, dropped ink and wrote arcane symbols, and that image will never leave me. I wanted to tip those fingernails with the nibs of pens and have him claw letters into my skin. I wanted a picture so I could look at them forever. I will have none of that now. Even when he was doing everyday things I loved his hands. They were more alive and expressive than most people's whole bodies.

I remember the one time I tried to drink away pain-- already, maybe, that was partly the pain of this leaving, and he held my hair back as I threw up into Andrew's toilet and keened and cried and stared past everything. He held me. These days no one else has the strength. I guess he didn't either, when it comes down to it.

Emotionally he was gentler and more methodical than anyone I've known. He had the ability to think through a proposal or a statement and evaluate it, simply that, without reacting. When I let venom creep out, and sometimes it did he simply sat and waited until I sorted out an apology.

He never pursued me. I waited, I invited, and sometimes he would come, but he never wanted more of me than I could give and I never did figure out what it is he got out of the whole thing.

I loved him enough to call myself poly again, to hurdle through inconveniences, to push open space where there was none. I crowbarred time out of days that contained no free time at all.

I will always remember him sitting in the middle of the bed, hugging himself, his mouth a flat line, saying that loneliness was "unavoidable". That was months before he told me, today, that since he didn't love me the whole thing would inevitably fade-- was in fact doing so already.

I loved every inch of his body-- defiantly, sometimes ashamedly, but with so much heat it still burns me to think about. Rejection may well fade that, we'll see.

He was a really fucking good kisser.

Sometimes I was sure he loved me. When I was upset he'd meet me at his door and hold me, he bought my favourite cookies and brought them out for me, he did little sweet and attentive things. Then his attention would wander and the illusion would be lost.

We never were the same person. There was never any question of being swept up into him, aligning my mind with his, becoming him. That's one of the reasons I love him. I love people my personality can't overpower. Still, near the end, a couple of times when we were lying together sweaty after sex, I couldn't tell where I left off and he began. Even then I knew it was only me feeling that way.

It brought me so much joy to do things for him because he has a gift for appreciation. He was not, like I was, raised starved for love and attention and care and so unlike me he doesn't lap it up in hungry gulps-- but nothing I did went unnoticed, nothing done deliberately failed to please him. I made him French toast and rubbed his back and sucked his cock and it delighted him even though he didn't love me.

I think he took joy in me, just me for myself, sometimes but like I said I don't know why. I know what it is most people seek in me. I think he wasn't seeking, just allowing.

He was always opaque in the extreme to me in the beginning. Slowly his face began to open and I could read it-- now I think I can from across the room. I still can't deconstruct his motivations but I think perhaps he can't either. He's young. I have no idea where his journey will take him.

His mind is beautiful when he let it come out to play-- like clear glass held up to morning sunlight in the spring. There is such clarity there and such a beautiful force and shape. He has an unshakable integrity of self that my handful-of-sand soap-in-the-shower personality can only contemplate with awe. He is scared of so many things, but those fears are like droplets clinging to an umbrella-- shaken off or dried, they're not the person himself.

I could never tell if he liked me.

He had infinite patience with me. When I was feeling insecure I'd text him and ask if he still liked me and he'd answer yes. I could feel that forthright.

Especially in the beginning I felt I could be candid with him like no one else. There was, after all, nothing to lose. I wrote in a journal and gave it to him, he wrote back a little but he never had it in him to open like I do. There are many journals, not as many as I'd like. I suppose now I have nothing to lose, I can write again.

He was my Watcher from behind the stump growing up, the person I talked to, not expecting an answer, but because I needed to feel like some entity somewhere saw and registered my existence.

I thought he was going to fall in love with some girl and run off with her, but he didn't wait for that. Faced with a downward trajectory he decided on the axe. I've made that decision before. It is faultlessly moral.

Now I will count him as one of my friends. I hope -- and I was wrong last time I hoped, but still -- that he will be one of the steadfast ones who resurfaces with the turns of the wheel. I hope he still lets me lean when I need to.

I do still need to lean.

“So what is Hell?”

“A place where there’s something you can’t let go of,” I said.

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