Looking out the window of my bedroom
I spied the luminescence that hovered
in the darkening sky – a gibbous bloom
playing hide and seek, sometimes discovered
lambent, lucent, glorious orb not quite full
a semblance of this half-hearted coupling
on your part, though on mine I feel the pull
on my heart, betraying me, waiting, wanting.
Falling disastrously in love again
aware this is but a hopeless romance
I now must find some method to regain
that equilibrium lost in your presence
’tis only right that I should leave you soon
disappear quietly like that old moon.
He might as well have said that as he and Amy ended their occasional messaging in the morning. JR was wont to send her the odd salutation of a busy day. It started early with Good morning Amy xx How are you today?
It led her to muse on the type of men that JR represents, who still hold on firmly to that old fashioned notion that it falls onto the man to be in charge, hold the door, pull out the chair, stand up when a woman enters the room, pay for the meal, drinks, etc… A notion that harks back to the last century as women have never looked back since attaining suffrage.
Earlier on in their dating experience Amy had rather forced him to admit that he did not wish to deny a woman anything and so rather shamed him into acknowledging that he wasn’t against feminism. Which is not the same as wholeheartedly embracing the ideology. Suffice to say JR is not what a feminist looks like.
Amy can definitely do a lot better as she prepared to go out dancing in Peckham with the rest of Swing Out London that evening.
Last night Liam met up with Amy again after, oh a number of months. The last time he had asked her over, it had been to a meal at his flat which ended not with dessert but some role playing adult fun. This time they met at a restaurant on the edge of Bloomsbury which was heaving with late night shoppers. Later they went on to a pub which was far too noisy for quiet conversation and finished off in an Italian cafe for a cup of hot chocolate and a proper tête-à-tête that didn’t involve yelling into each other’s ears.
So they gave each other the lowdown on their summers – hers of travelling and work, candidly including descriptions of some of her dating adventures, his on the tentative side as he lamented the lack of flirtation in his life since he was busy heading several groups and managing research into the manipulation of subatomic structures. He seemed keen to hear why she had decided to stop online dating and was drawn to her tales of unrequited love.
The idea that he might lend a counselling ear appealed to him and he admitted as much. At the same time as admiring the confidence and optimism she exuded, he detected a vulnerability in her makeup from her narrative. He made light of the fact that he might be useful to her as he enjoyed the role of saviour if nothing else. She was quite sympathetic to this as she recognised too that the attraction Goran held for her was his fragile marriage – and her belief that she played a part in shoring up his courage.
At the cafe he received a call from his sister postponing their Saturday Christmas shopping date and when he hung up was able to confirm their film date which had been loosely hinted at earlier in the evening. As they got on the tube northwards he kissed her lightly on the lips goodbye when they eventually went their separate ways.
It’s an adult affair and she may be a little silly, having her head turned because the sex is sublime; he is clear, however, that he does not feel the same, does not reciprocate her love. Rebuffed, she re-considers her position and suggests that they might stop seeing each other at some point next year. After all, he will most probably move abroad at some stage when his wife has found a job and settled down in another European city.
She found it difficult to define this “love” – it’s wanting a positive outcome for the person concerned.
Well, if that’s the case then I probably “love” lots of people – was his rejoinder.
Hmm, so there must be more to it, she conceded, but was unable to be more precise. So they left it at that and continued their morning routine – ablutions, coffee and a light breakfast. When they kissed their goodbyes, she was preoccupied throughout her working day, trying to define the nature of her feelings for this man. Wary of being hurt after so many unrequited feelings and suffering so many heartbreaks, she had deliberately chosen to involve herself with men who were unavailable. That she might so cooly have suggested this morning that he looked for another woman next year, she knew that she could only do so because she had somebody else who held her in affectionate esteem – Jan, the first one who caught her eye last year on the first dating website she’d joined when her affair with Pierre had ended.
Last night, having ravished and left me spent, my lover gazed at me fully and said clearly so I would make no mistake as to his true feelings towards me – you know I don’t love you. I know – I replied. He only wanted me for recreational use and I have been quite happy to oblige as he is a perfect match for my appetite. I, on the other hand, feel quite enamoured of him and have penned a number of sonnets, inspired by the memory of his ardour.
It suited me that we continued to see each other occasionally, even as I lamented to friends and colleagues that I could not imagine the tedium of living with someone. Past live-in lovers, one husband, now an ex-husband, these have come and gone and whilst the pain of parting had been acute, the relief at having my own space, beholden to none as to how I manage my comings and goings soon dulled the ache of a heart break.
But even as the echo of unrequited love followed me through the day, I am reminded of my first infatuation and those which came after – spurning those young men who would lay their hearts open to me, declaring their love, I went after those others who did not love me, determined to pursue them, believing that I might change their hearts.
But I have a plan to change my foolish ways and said to my lover this morning that it may be high time he returned to the dating site and found someone else for his sensual use. I hope I may extricate my hopeless heart before I am smitten beyond redemption.