“You look like you need to drink more… to forget,” one of our friends said to me recently after I got sconced about you. She implied I should regret what happened between us. What followed was a moment of lucidity, as with bewilderment I replied “Why would I want to forget?” The experience you gave me helped to shape me immensely and was filled with realisations – I dread to think of the person I’d be without them.
When I stumbled back into my room in the early hours of the morning the night you rejected me, amidst the tears I had a joker-like grin on my face. This was heartbreak shown to me for the first time. What I felt for you was my first taste of a fraction of love. I’d been in a stale year-long relationship with someone else I felt nothing for, and I’d dumped him to be with you for a matter of days. It was worth it.
All we are in this world is a series of moments, and the search of beautiful moments is to me this world’s purpose. In first week I wrote an essay while I had the flu on how D. H. Lawrence only allows his characters one great epiphany – for it not to be seized is for them to waste their lives forever. In my fever the Talking Heads songs Once in a Lifetime and This Must be the Place probably were left to play over a hundred times. I was poised for my life to change, to leave my bad relationship, for a great moment to strike, and in second week I met you.
Monday: a vague hope for an Oxlove… Wednesday: sending you bad messages from Parkend… The rest of the week, a struggle waiting to see you again. When just the two of us went to Burning Down the House the next week and Once in a Lifetime played, I felt like destiny was converging in on me. A song about the flow of the universe being interrupted by a profound second of clarity. This was a moment, a night, that would change my life – not necessarily because it promised any future, but because in memory I could always return to its intensity. The first kiss you gave me is still the best kiss I’ve ever had.
None of what happened may have meant anything to you, and the attachment I developed came far too quickly. There is no need to pity me, though. I said, in vain hope I could make things work, that I was happy to get hurt. I’m so glad you crashed through the prison I was in and showed me a piece of what the world had to offer like the extravagant, boisterous wreck of a guy you are. Remember I liked you for who you were – for standing up for yourself and smiling through choruses of boos. I have moved on and grown up a great deal, but I’ll be here if you change your mind.
Lawrence’s Ursula says ‘As an end in itself, I could love a hundred men, one after the other.’ You were the real start, and I can only ever look back on those experiences with gratitude and elation – never an ounce of regret.