Wednesday 20 February 2008

How I Feel About You

An ex-girlfriend of mine once said to my grandmother 'After a year of living together, I still sometimes feel I don't know him at all. I have no idea what goes on in his head, and he never tells me.'
My grandmother replied 'It will always be like that. He's a hard man to love, but he is worth it. But you can't force things on him. He will never allow anyone to connect with him, unless it's on his own terms.'

She knows me, of course. She's more than just a grandmother, she's my closest relative, really. I can talk to her about things I wouldn't discuss with any other family member. She will keep trying till she dies to break the groundrules, but at the end of the day, she knows, if I have decided I'm not talking about something, I'm not going to talk about it.

I'm actually more comfortable in crowds, than in smaller groups. A lot of people fear public speaking. I love it. Huge buzz, huge adrenalin rush. Stick me in front of the office and I have absolutely no problem talking loudly about things a lot of people regard as taboo.

It's one on one situations I don't like so much. A girl at work said that she thought I wouldn't go out every night if I wasn't single. I told her the truth; Yes I would. I actually need to go out and be in rooms where there are several people, I need to, as my boss put it 'hold court'. It's a compulsive need. It's a continual need to keep interacting with as many people as possible, a need to ensure that when I walk through the doors of one of the places I frequent I get a cry of recognition from people, a 'Hello, Crushed!', a pat on the back, a 'Guiness, Crushed?'

And yes, I love to stand leaning on the bar, gesticulating wildly, in a forceful tirade about the smoking ban, or football, or music.

I love parties. I love it when you find that more than one person has been making sure you have a drink, and you seem to have acquired four glasses of various concoctions.

I love being in the thick of things, the centre of the dancefloor, the flouncing peacock of the company I work for.

This has always dominated my life.

I'm not capable of love, in the sense most people see it, because that One on One stuff doesn't hold much interest for me. You love me? Great, cool, sorted. Now I need more people to love me. And how do I do that?

Believe it or not, I'm actually pretty tactile. I hug my mates when I see them, I even hug acquintances at parties, I'm always saying 'I love you mate', I blow kisses at every woman I know (If you're a bloke and I'm blowing kisses at you, it's actually a gesture of contempt, and yes, I do do it, I'm sorry to admit).

The wierd thing is, I'm actually a really affectionate person. I will playfight any dog I come across, have him on his back, paws in the air, rolling around for a good scratching and when I'm done, chances are, your dog WILL actually follow me.

OK, that bit was for everybody.
The rest is for you.

I've THOUGHT I've been in love many times. I'm like that. I'm easy come, easy go that way. I've never really cared about a breakup since I was nineteen, except with Claire, and that was the abortion that screwed me up, not Claire.

Relationships are a thorough pain. You think you want them, until you're in one and then you remember how much BETTER your life was when you were single.

I've been engaged twice, once to my first love, which I meant, once to Claire, and that again, was just a situation that got out of control.
Funny story there. I knew she wanted to get engaged, but I put her off by telling her we couldn't get married in a Catholic church unless she converted to Catholicism, and I wouldn't even consider any other form of marriage. Well, on one of her days off work, she actually went to see our local priest to discuss possibilities and found out that no, all she had to do was agree to our kids being raised Catholic.

So we ended up getting engaged.

I'm absolutely useless at relationships of this kind. I'm quite good at the initial stages, because then it's exciting, but I really just lose interest. These things are great, as long as they are not ACTUALLY regular parts of my life. I can deal with flings, they are just temporary hobbies, but once they try probing into my core existence, I wake up, smell the coffee and realise, this stuff is fine, as long as it does not in any way impact on anything else in my life.

The second they do, the barrier comes down and the other party will be asked to back off.

I really have managed remarkably well in preserving myself from heartbreak, since nineteen.
Since then, much as I have often KIDDED myself I've been in love, I haven't.

The Baker, The Chimney Sweep, D, SS, yes, I love them. This blog, I love that too. Birmingham City FC, yes I love that. The Catholic faith too. Those loves are true, they survive my fickle caprices.

But I think I woke up this morning understanding something for the first time.
Love is not wanting to lose someone from your life. Love is wanting to cry when you think you have lost someone from your life. Love is feeling that their absence from your life leaves a hole inside you.

That's an awful, terrible thing to feel. I can see why I fight that feeling so hard. The things listed above, I know I'll never lose, so I can afford to lavish my affection on them.

You belong in that list.

I don't know what that means. I'm not even going to even try pretend I do. All I can really explain is the huge swing that took place in my worldview in the space of a few seconds this morning.
It was like an explosion. I pretty much danced round that office.

You are one of my best friends and I never, ever want to lose touch with you. I never want to argue with you. I never want you to be hurt. I never want you to be down. I want you to find everything that can make you happy. I will never judge you. I will never make demands of you. You enrich my life just by being in it.

You're young and you are such an amazing, beautiful person, with your whole life ahead of you, and I so want it to be the life you so, so deserve.

There really are not many people in the world like you. You are pure, in your heart. You have those special qualities which mark out Human Beings from clothed animals.

You buoy me up.
I just went out for a cigarette and do you know what was running through my head?
'In to your hands I commend my spirit, Glory Jesus Christ,
in to your hands I commend my spirit, Glory Jesus Christ,
Glory Hallellujah, Glory Jesus Christ,
Glory Hallellujah, Glory Jesus Christ.'

I'm sorry, I know you're not a big fan of JC and the Catholic faith, but it plays a funny role in my life. I'm a lot more devout than readers of this blog might realise, just not in that conventional a way.

I guess I want to talk to you about these things for ever, to know what you think, to know you'll care what I think. I want to talk to you about Nietzche and you to argue back with me. I want to go shopping with you (I used to go shopping with D, I like going shopping with female friends), I want to go round Warwick Castle with you, I want to introduce you to my friends. I want to take you for a pint in the Star. I want to sit in the living room whilst I play you Violator (Depeche Mode), easily the finest album of all time.

I want to sit out on the step and see if we can spot planets. I want to explain the curvature of space to you- I know you'll get it, I love it when people get it.
I want to play you at pool. I want to go halves on the juke box choices with you and give you the choice left over (out of five).

I want to tell you the pointless, mindless trivia that are in fact my staple conversation.

And if this never happens, that's cool. It WILL ALWAYS BE COOL.

And yes, I'm partly afraid of actually doing all those things I listed above. You know why that is.

Because I'll not do anything to jeopardise what we have.
I trust you. I missed you (which was daft, you'd not gone away, but I thought you had).
And I know you will never hurt me.
And it takes a lot for me to say that.

I want us to be friends for life, however that works out.
That really is how I feel about you.


Anonymous said...

"Love is not wanting to lose someone from your life. Love is wanting to cry when you think you have lost someone from your life. Love is feeling that their absence from your life leaves a hole inside you."

This was beautiful, Crushed.
I hope this person is reading this!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, did you just break up with someone via your blog? That is right up there with a SMS ditching.

Sure it used more than the 60 characters of an SMS but still, I hope she got it between the eyes in a face to face first.

Anonymous said...

Well there is one person who knows what is going on in your head after all.

But she had to share it with the rest of us because you can't say it face to face.

Everyone one of us should be so lucky as to have someone say these thoughts to us.

You are a romantic Crushed, however much you deny it. But it's in the mind and you can't do it in the real world. Not yet. One day, maybe.

Anonymous said...

Princess P- It actually took me till this morning to twig that. You'd think I'd have known that.

I once had an argument with my best mate and it's one of two times I cried in my adult life- it only lasted six hours, and in fact we never left the room, it was just the frustration of it.

I feel that way about this person.

Yes she has read it. And yes, she is mature enough and sensible enough to understand it.

And she knows just how much she means to me.

Josh- Certainly not. This person and I are not in that kind of relationship. How could we be?

But yes, I'll admit, I do use SMS to 'dump' people. In most cases a face to face may follow, but the bad news usually comes via text first. It's not something I can do face to face.

But in this case, that will never happen, because we are just friends and I'm happy for things to just be whatever they are meant to be.

I trust her, and that's almost a first.

jmb- Well,as much as anyone does :)
It's because I can just trust her.

Bearing in mid the bizarre circumstances of how communication was initiated, that might seem surprising, but she seems to have that strange instinct of knowing where my boundaries lie.

Maybe I can't do it in the real world.

But she does make me want to.

Anonymous said...

You're such a sentimentalist Ingsoc!

And an attention whore too! You love us because we visit you every day (or, in my case, every 2 weeks when I actually blog).

And we wouldn't have you any other way.

Anonymous said...

> Love is wanting to cry when you think you have lost someone from your life. Love is feeling that their absence from your life leaves a hole inside you.
Ohhh...! I hope that's true, CBI, *not sure if you'd be an expert on this topic of love, though ;-)* 'cos I never know whether I really 'love' (I'm only clear about the part where love = commitment), but have felt that thing you say *AND done the crying, although after a few times of thinking you lose someone, you just get a dead feeling :-)*

> And I know you will never hurt me. And it takes a lot for me to say that.
Wowww.. that's incredible *and true, I hope*

Beautiful post. really romantic :-)

Anonymous said...

You are a big softy at heart aint you? I always read your stuff by the way - even if Idont get it all or even comment, because you write very well!! So,whos the lucky girl (or boy)?

Anonymous said...

I am happy that yo have found this person, Crushed and there is some beautiful writing in this post.

Anonymous said...

Phish- I can be, I suppose. I think friendship is important and I can genuinely feel a lot for people, I think.

Yes, I'll admit, I value every regular commentor as a real life friend, in terms of friendships, I think you CAN have quality AND quantity, and I prefer to aspire to both.

In a way, yes, I would actually define my sentiments towards long term regular visitors as being love.

I'm often called a whore in RL, and I think partly that is because I really do want to love everybody, as far as possible. Except Aston Villa FC.

Eve- If you mean Love in terms of romantic love, well, no, I'm pretty crap, but the wider concept, I think I'm pretty good at.

A girl I met at a party a few months ago described me as 'Over-educated, though not in a good way, who treats life as a cynical game to hide the fact that underneath, you're an embittered romantic driven by Nihilism.'

Ouch. That did make me think. She had my number there, I think.

Mutley- I am, in a way. I still sleep with a soft toy when I'm depressed. Seriously.
It's just I have a major problem with anyone having power over me, which is I prefer to spread my affections around in a way some would call shallow.

This person would never try excercise power over me, I KNOW that. And how I know that, is actually quite bizarre, one is almost tempted to call it divine intervention.

I write well? Here maybe, my boss would disagree :) He thinks my file write ups could be better done by primary school children.
To be honest, I find it hard to actually work in the office. Too many distractions.

Lucky? I doubt she is that:) She's just a very good friend. I've written tributes on this blog to D, the Baker, and the Chimney Sweep, so she gets one too.

Platonic friendships can last forever, and I hope this one does.

Welshcakes- I think the muse kind of hit me. She makes me feel a better person, what more can I say?

Anonymous said...

It's great to have a family member like your gran. I am fine in small groups or on a one to one. While I can get up and talk to large groups (I don't enjoy it) I am lousy at parties.

Anonymous said...

Heady, breath taking, all consuming love is an emotion I can no longer afford.

I do miss it.

(Marriage does not include that intensity I'm afraid.)

Anonymous said...

Jams- I can do one to one, obviously, i spend inordinate amounts of time sitting in my living room chatting to The Baker or The Chimney Sweep. And i often have relatively exclusive conversations with people in the pub, or in the course of work.

But I do really come alive, the larger the group.

E-K- I suspect I'm past it myself :)
A friend of ours was going to get engaged to his girlfriend of five years, in spite of the fact that they were being intimate about twice a month. As I pointed out, the prospects didn't really look good, did they?

He escaped though.