Never a more accurate word said in jest, as I guess that’s just what I did. I was a greedy little 21-year old and I wanted her all to myself. Back then it was all so simple. I knew I wanted her and that we would remain together for the rest of our lives. At 21-years of age I was mature, strong and wise. Nobody could tell me otherwise. I was forever confident that we would face adversity as a tandem, and slay every dragon that dared breathe on us. That confidence is sewn into my soul.
Time does its thing, and you change. What once was important now becomes –whatever. The hairs start to singe as the exothermic reaction breaks through the shield that once held strong and true. It becomes as porous as a sponge. Neither of you can take the heat, and as the old saying goes if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. The tie is cut loose from the hair, the mane flows free and she is yours no more.
When you lose your soul mate, your lover, your life; it’s a quite horrible sensation. I remember sitting in the darkness of my friend’s living room, sipping scolding hot tea and telling him that it felt like she had died. As I quivered, tears seared my cheek and the droplets of tea seared my wrist. The listener had lost his wife. Not through divorce but through death. Yet despite his world falling apart, he found a new life. Once his heart had healed he was able to find love once more. He has, and always will be, an inspiration.
But finding new love was as distant as Erebor is for the 13-Dwarves throwing axes at a cinema near you. It’s called The Lonely Mountain for a reason. I hadn’t yet painted onto my canvas. That area was still plain white and I had no intention of tarnishing its purity with paint. Then one day I saw her across the poker room floor. I had seen her before but this time she looked different. My eyes were locked and try as I might I couldn’t let her out of my sights. The experts in the field of divorce believe that a man will automatically try and fill the hole in his heart as soon as humanly possible. The woman will do likewise. Her hole remains equipped with sutures of steel. If anyone dare attempt to delve they will lose their limbs. Was this happening to me?
More time passed as I pursued this poor woman with a frenzy of attention. When I looked at her I was blinded by beauty. When she looked at me she saw a big red flag. I was the Soviet Union and she was scared that my sickle and hammer would beat and cut her heart to pieces. All the warning signs were there and she desperately tried to release herself from my grip. But I am a stubborn bastard. I held on tightly and am forever grateful that I did.
She cooked lentils for me. She choice my legume, my lens culinaris, my 26g of protein and she cooked them for me. It was in the top floor of a Parisian building. The floors were wonky and the walls covered in books about wine. The window was open and I could hear the grocer selling his avocados five floors below. The sound of the traffic entered my ears, the cold entered my clothes and the smell of lentils entered my nostrils. What is it about cooking? When a woman cooks for a man, or a man cooks for a woman, what is it that makes it feel so lovingly re-assuring? Is it a memory of your mother cooking for your father? The stability that it presents…what is it? Why do I have that memory now?
Was it then that I knew?
My memories are changing. My mind is filling with new stories. I feel a short tightness in my chest and gut, there are butterflies desperate to free themselves from the belly, and there is heat and a rising in my groin. 5,000 miles is a vast distance and right now I could jump into that cold vast space and start swimming towards her. I miss her so much. I never thought this could happen again but it is. I am so very glad that I was wrong. I am so very grateful she never gored our love as she ripped through my red flag like a fearful bull.
I see her everywhere. The jar of selenium on my desk that sits next to the Tupperware dish containing nuts and raisins. On top of the jar sits a packet of red cherry licorice and a Wowee speaker she bought me as a gift. Her Panda lies facedown on the bedspread now coddling my quilt as it once coddled the painful pangs of a period, and her black and white slipper rests on top of my books. Why this morning I very nearly brushed my teeth with her tampon. They are both coloured orange and a stray one found its way into my bathroom draw. It’s not that bad, as I could have flossed at the same time 🙂
My new life with Liza is going to be delightfully difficult. We have separate lives almost 5,000 miles apart, I have rain and she has the sunshine, I have a child and she has none, I have been scarred by divorce and she is yet to taste marriage. I have opened up my heart and I am not afraid to get hurt once more. To fear love means it cannot grow. I am writing this in the hope that people who are going through the loss of a loved one can find inspiration in my words. You may not feel it now, but life moves on. It lies is places you would least expect to find it.
I found mine lying in a plate of lentils.