We are with each other by the flickering light of the candle. Bathed in gentle light, how beautiful you are to me.
My kisses on your skin make you promises. Can you feel them? Can you feel them in your bones?
Not the earth, not riches, not anything to hold or own. They promise only love, I have no other treasure to give.
I stroke your long hair and my caresses sing a song of loving you, gentle and quiet like our breathing in the deep night. Can you feel it? Can you feel it in your heart? No man has ever loved you like I will. No man has ever wanted you as much as I want you in this moment.
The world, so large and full of fear, has shrunk to these two bodies and the small space around them. Nothing can touch you, my love, nothing but my soft hands. You are safe with me at last.
Be mine, my body sings to you. Be mine and only mine. Be mine as we find each other in the dark, as we open up and become ourselves. Shed the accreted world, shed the cares that will grind us one day into dust, break us into ever tinier pieces until all we are is memories of the memories we share. Forget everything but I am here to love you. Be mine and mine alone.
No man has ever loved you like I will. My kisses promise it. My hands promise it. My body promises it. The breath I breathe promises it. My beating heart promises it. I have nothing else to give. Be mine alone, love me also and live.
She is mine
I have been reading through some of the things I wrote about Zenella as she grew up. I feel so guilty about how much B hurt her. I have found it very hard to forgive myself. But Zenella seems happier now and has started to warm towards me a little bit. I hope she will grow to love me and forgive me for my selfishness and weakness.
I still feel exactly this way about her:
But she was beautiful in her new school uniform, smiling in the sun.
I forget to fear for her, to worry about what a school will do to her
lively mind, about finding friends, about bullying, about everything,
because all I can think is she is mine, she is mine, she is mine, and
she always will be my golden child, beautiful in her new school uniform,
smiling in the sun.
Sometimes I worry about how she will judge me, whether she will when she looks back think I was a good dad, a good man. But you cannot worry about that, not really, because there is only one thing you can do to affect that judgement. I can only love her as best as I am able, be as good a man as I can, and allow her to love or despise my memory as she will.
I try. Some days I think it is enough to do the best you can within your limits; others I despair at those limits. But we are made how we are and surely, surely, so long as we proceed from love as much as we can, surely that is enough?
When I see her, my lovely emo teen, my beautiful complex girl, my heart sings the same song, it will always sing it: she is mine, she is mine, she is mine.
A life full of love... oh wait...
When I entered adulthood, 30 years ago, I was a big-R Romantic. I believed in love, that I would find it and it would be wonderful.
So how did it go?
Here are the women I've loved. I'm leaving out the fleeting stuff that we more or less all accumulate. Just the decently established ones.
1. A girl who thought she was too good for me and lied to me about our future, leaving me without any future at all. Long story, you don't want to know.
2. A woman who dumped me so she could get a better flat on campus. She also, I strongly believe, had a termination without telling me. That hurt, not because I would have disagreed or tried to stop it but because she didn't even think it was worth bothering to tell me.
3. A woman who dumped me because she thought I lacked ambition and wasn't a Catholic.
A woman who when I needed support because I was suffering from crushing
depression instead left me isolated and alone, refused to even touch me
and when we split up, instead of doing the decent thing and moving to
England where I could make a life, refused to leave her dad's home,
chaining me to suburban Brisbane and a life of scrabbling for work that
would never fulfil me and left me so scared that I will be unable to
support my kids that I have to be exploited and humiliated by assholes
the whole of my working life. She also took half my money, half the things I worked for while she refused to get a job to lessen some of the stress on me as I struggled in a marginal work environment as a freelance, and my car.
5. A woman who I still don't
really understand what her fucking problem was but invented a fake
phantom pregnancy to manipulate me.
6. A woman whose only
purpose for being in a relationship was to take from me and to make me
suffer for whatever she gave, who destroyed my sexual confidence because
I couldn't fuck her like a 25yo but never once -- NOT ONCE -- asked me
what I would like because she didn't care, who hated my kids, appalled
everyone she met and when we finally split, extorted money from me by
playing on my insecurities and manipulating a mundane truth into
something so ugly and baroque that I started to believe I am in fact the
huge asshole she made me out to be. Oh, she also threatened to kill me more than once, which was nice.
So all in all, these days I feel grateful that I still have my sanity, my balls and my life, such as it is.
And I still turn up! I am still the same wide-eyed Romantic I was back then. I still believe in love just as much as I did when I was 18. I still hope number 7 will be "the one".
And I look back at that and think, oh it's me.
I feel like I have something to say but it's only really me who needs to hear it so don't feel bad if you pass this by. Perhaps like me you find self-pity hard to bear in others. Perhaps you wish I would find a hobby or something. Anyway.
I have been unable to deal with my mum's dying and I'll be honest with you, it's not because I am grieving for her. It's because I'm grieving for myself. I cannot stop thinking that her love for me was undeserved, that I was not, am not, never will be the man she believed I was, and without her to believe it, I am left with only myself to give a true accounting to myself of myself.
The problem I have and can't resolve is that I cannot stop believing I am able to flower into a good man. I feel haunted by the golden child I was, the lovely, loving, gentle boy who learned from the wonderful woman what love is. But what did he become? A worthless, empty piece of shit, a spinning ball of wreckage. On good days, I hope that I really am like priceless porcelain that has been broken but if it's somehow glued back together, it will resemble something beautiful, albeit cracked forever. On bad days, I feel like the only way I can justify my existence is that I have children who would suffer if I was no longer here, and even then, what good am I for them? I look at my beautiful Zenella and I wonder what good I have brought to her, what good will I ever bring to her? I am such a pitiful forgery of a parent, I can scarcely believe I have the nerve to claim to be a dad.
It is not just that I have failed so much in life. It is the belief that I could have succeeded. Not being good enough is fine. You can only do what you are able to do. But not being the best you can is unforgivable. You can make as many excuses as you like but you cannot hide from it.
I cannot bear that my epitaph will read: he was much less than he could have been.
I have recently met someone. She is very private so I am not going to talk about her here. Enough to say that she is lovely. She is in most respects just exactly what I was hoping for when I entered the dating market again. I'd like to believe she is a good match for me. But just because someone is what you want doesn't mean you are able to keep up your side of the match. I feel like it's not even that I don't deserve her (which is a kind of silly thing to say) so much as that I can't
I feel like I will be happy to know her until she realises she has mistaken an empty, barren counterfeit of a man for a human being and then she will have to give up on me. I feel like I want to dive swooning into love and it is so bittersweet because I know it will hurt so much when she gives up on me.
Not that it will stop me. I have never feared pain and I have never stopped trying to love others just because I am so hopeless at it. I keep hoping that somehow wanting to will be enough, that someone will realise that I really do want to and that will work for them.
It is a painful conflict that I cannot resolve and I think it is because I won't accept the obvious solution. The clash is between a deep, abiding desire to serve others and the inability to achieve it. My mum gave her life to others: to me and my sisters, to my dad, to people she helped, whose pain she eased. It is all she wanted to do and she was able to do it. She never felt she was good at it. She was plagued by fears that she was not good enough for other people. But she was. And I inherited the desire, the deep and abiding desire, but my motivation is entirely selfish. I want to be something for others because I am nothing in myself. I want to reflect myself in others -- to be the ghost of a reflection because I have no substance. There is no David. There is no being here. And I keep hoping that if I try hard enough I will become real, that if I am loved I will become worthy of love.
But I never try hard enough. And of course the simple solution would be to accept that I cannot and to stop wanting to be anything but what I am.
I want so much to be the man she believed I am. I keep searching myself to see if he is there but I can't find anything to let me believe in it.
A couple of days ago I was a huge arsehole to my new girlfriend. In a few moments I became everything every woman who once loved me and came to hate me thought I was. And I was left thinking, what if that is real and everything else is just mummery? What if I reach the bottom of my well and find mud? I wish I was man enough to show her the kindness she deserves and let her go.
I don't want to believe I am just mud. Sometimes I feel that beautiful boy was real, that he hasn't died, that he can still become a man, that I didn't fail him completely and I can still be all the things I promised to and never was. But without my beautiful mum, who will ever love me enough to sustain that belief?
Sigh. Another thing I should not post but of course I will because I feel like a problem shared is a problem halved or whatever mad thing leads me to overshare. Some days -- this is one of them -- I feel like I should stop blogging, stop Facebooking, stop trying to be anything to anybody and disappear.
I do not think of the brain as a unity but as a collective whose working, if unobstructed, is fluid and dynamic. When free from restraint it simply allows the world to interact with it and reacts authentically. It is without pattern because the world itself is only apparently patterned.
When we do not get what we want, we form fixed points in our brains. They are forced to return to those points, as though we had tied the brain to them. Without resolution, we are forced into patterns, over and over, and the unfree brain feels as though it is in pain.
What we want is a difficult concept and I don't think it is a real thing at all. I think we have disparate signals and urges within the brain that are without structure but some part of our brain demands structure and collates them into desires.
Do you not sometimes feel you do not understand what you desire? That you have somehow interpreted it out of a language you do not really understand?
If we did not, there would be an end to wanting but there never is.
Sometimes when I massaged a woman -- always a woman because their skin is smoother -- I would become focused so that all I consisted of was the action of massage. My mind stilled and I felt at peace. We talk about "losing yourself" in a thing and that is what I did.
I realised that relinquishment of the self brought peace for me. Perhaps even that the self is no more than the wants that we have interpreted from signals and urges we do not fully understand, and that if they are extinguished, we too are extinguished.
Sometimes when you are high, you can become fearful. You disorder your brain and small things can seem threatening. Cars pulling up in the street nearby are cop cars. The noise of the possums in the loft is burglars trying the door. Things people say seem double-edged, tinged with unkindness.
But sometimes you just feel your brain has no moving parts and whatever you are doing, you are doing it without concern. Reading, even, can become an incredible pleasure. Not what you are reading, that
you are reading.
It seems simple. You only want to do what you're doing. When you are able to diminish what you want to one thing, your brain's working is free. You have no purpose other than to do the thing you want, so it is easy to eject the self.
I have not finished but I have stopped caring about what I was writing. A happy ending!
you can't hurt me
you can touch me but
you can't break me
The warmth between us is a shield, no one can enter. You feel the world shrink to these square metres. I'm not thinking about anything else but the reconstruction of Athens in the ruins. I'm not thinking about anything else but you, I promise.
You can touch me if you want to. Let it flow. Let what you have flow out of you and into my skin, leave trails for tomorrow so that I will know you have been here. Leave me gasping.
I'm not thinking about anything else but you, I promise.
Let the warmth you know you feel spill out into me. Let me know you are real and I will be real too. Let me feel you love me. I will die if you don't consecrate me. I don't care if you kill me. The only boundary is what you will be. Break me into pieces and you will exorcise me.
Let your fear make you my slave and me yours. Let your fear guide you into passages of love that you cannot contain. Break me into pieces and you will become me.
Make me real and justify me.
Be yourself. There is only me here to see. Shed your skin and deify me, sacrifice me, destroy me. Nothing hurts and I am free. Desolate me. Grow your teeth so you can eat me. Grow strong so you can crush me. Turn yourself inside out and you can drown me.
Nothing hurts and I am free. C'mon baby c'mon be with me.
I've been trying to think what I can say about P, who recently died. It's really hard though. I have spent more hours talking to her -- almost entirely virtually -- than I think I have to anyone else in this world. We shared a lot of stuff. She loved and hated me and I never really understood either.
She hadn't spoken to me in a long time and I didn't know how sick she was. I knew she would kill herself with drinking. She had become desolate in a way I think most people cannot grasp is even possible for a person. But I can.
I loved her. That's what I want to say about P. I loved her and I wish I had been better able to make that worth something to her. Because she was worth a lot more than she believed about herself.
Also, ffs, Puck, why'd you have to do that, you cunt?