In our early days you were lost, it seemed to me, and you let me feed you with compliments, and I watched you flourish on the diet. You were beautiful: a secret garden, a shy persona with a gift, a guarded women when I met you, who grew under my encouragement. I believe, perhaps mistakenly, that you would cherish me in return, but then you became more demanding than nurturing: determined in manner, and obsessed with furnishings and the social calendar.
I, it seems to me, placatory to the point of exhaustion, wondered where the gentle chrysalis I met had gone, changed now into this demanding ‘harridan’, testing me with ever stricter lectures. I thought life offered moments of sanctuary, and when we found something worth the nurturing, it would understand that wise souls always treat those they love, “With a kindness.” but with every word and phrase you tested that belief.
My inner voice repeated “Kindness” every day, but that same voice was changing, and spoke the same truths but with an undertone of doubt. Children came and must, you quickly told me, “Be presentable” where, I always thought, the central truth was “Must be happy. ” We argued, as couples must, until that simple recognition which sparked our union was lost in a sea of disagreements and cultural conflict.
There are moments in any civilisation, where each of us think we have the final truth: the moment which connects us to the “Immortal” but which we also fear may be nothing but a wisp of smoke. Is there always the teacher and the taught: the bearer of knowledge, made weary of her burden, and the being she was sent to nourish? Are we all refugees, walking through the ruins of our youth’s dreams, seeking something worth the saving?
So you were to me, but somehow, lost in your certainties, with a plethora of commonplace observations taught you by your mother I believe, you forgot who you were talking to, or were sent to nourish, until, I found myself in another bed, seeking for the feelings you first gave me, but with another body and in another place.
Do you remember at those parties, in those early days, when to talk to me, lean on and touch me was your only agenda? But how, at later gatherings you merely nodded in recognition when I brought you drinks so you could continue talking to another man about “Cultural confluents,” leaving me to wander on alone among a sea of unknown faces? That is where I met her, and where she rescued me while you defined “iconoclasm” with a personage you thought might be useful in a career way. We are all metaphors in each others lives, are we not, and I discovered, while in another’s arms, that I had exhausted yours.