Thursday, April 08, 2010

I Don't Know How Not To

Yesterday I gave away my favourite fountain pen. I was sitting in one of those cute little armchairs, all curled up, scribbling away for dear life, when the man I loved showed up. He sat down next to me and chatted. It was one brandy later with no lunch after about a month of not drinking. So I was just a little high. No, higher. Yeah, higher.

And he said, what a beautiful pen, and reached out to take it. Running his fingers over the black and gold, he told me he loved fountain pens. And gave it back to me. I screwed the cover back on and held it out to him. My favourite fountain pen. The one that just minutes ago was recording this whirpool of longing I felt for him, washing over his waterproof boots as he smiled tolerantly.

Polite, but distant, as always.

What the fuck is wrong with me? I wondered. But it wasn't even a question. Here, take the pen. And I fished into my pencil box for the refills. You need to get more of these for it.

He tried it out on a piece of paper I had torn out of my journal. A firm hand. A few words. I don't think I'd really seen his handwriting before. He doesn't write. That's what I do. He sings. And suddenly that torn piece of paper became precious. I wanted to keep it.

So he sang. And I read my book some, clapped some, finished my journal entry some. And at the end, three brandies later, I collected my stuff and stumbled over to where he stood, behind the stage. Here, this is yours. He smiled. No, I can't do that. I can't take your pen. But I held it out, swaying silently, drunkedly determined.

And he took it, thanked me, collected his stuff to head out. No, he couldn't stay and hang out. No, not even for a while as he was meeting someone for dinner and then heading home to sleep. Bad throat and all that. You know how it goes.

Write something, I proferred the piece of paper. He wrote some Lennon lyrics. Signed it. I folded the paper carefully and stuffed it in my wallet.

No, I don't know why. No, I don't know what. No, I can't justify a single thing.

I'm so far past gone that I don't even remember what it was like to be heart whole.

I don't know how to love someone who will never love me.

And I don't know how not to.

3 comments:

Tudor Rose said...

Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Clearly, I, too, have a hard time not loving someone who doesn't love me. (And if only it was simply a pen I gave away)

I wonder -- and, please feel free to say no -- but would you mind indulging me in a bit of emailing? I'm curious about some things. If you're game, you can send it to tudor.rosy@gmail.com and I'll get it :-)

Nessa said...

You know, despite the pain, may be it is ok to love someone who doesn't love you back.

I did. It broke my heart but I lived and I wouldn't give up that part of me.

Jenn said...

TR:I know. I wrote this for you. Otherwise I would have just swallowed the experience like a shattered glass sandwich which would cut me all the way down. So thanks.

Nessa: Thank you. I will go on loving him. Mostly because I can't help it. I've taken to planning escape routes out of the country. Except that once, I escaped to one of the most beautiful places in the world and I dreamt of him and woke up, heart thumping wildly, in tears.