A few weeks ago, and over drinks at Manifesto, a close friend, letting his guarded nature down for a moment or two, told me his partner of many years had left him for good. It was predictable, he said, in fact I saw it coming. There was no physical harm, he said, but deep emotional scars, adding; who knows how long it will take for all go into a massive oblivion.
Take it easy, I said, these are universal matters; the social “order” you and I grew up under is irremediably disappearing – I can appreciate the regrets and the departing emotions for sure, but, watch out for excessive drinking patterns, losing your dignity is the last thing you want to do …
Remember that time when life felt safe, at ease? A decorum prevailed – we always thought of others with much empathy, little self-aggrandisement; for a moment we assumed we had reached some sort of cultural ideal, and were less afraid of expressing our emotions, sharing our memories – man or woman? as if character mattered; honoring the self was the main driver, even when dying there was a sense of deep consideration – notwithstanding the dangers of actually engaging with another person at a deeper level.
Why did she leave? I asked … Not sure; several reasons perhaps, and maybe the most important one was all the things we said we do, and never acted upon. How about in the bedroom? No worries there, he replied – we enjoyed each other’s company; the gestures of desires and the laughter that followed.
Do you still see her? Rarely. I remember her sounds though; the tones of her voice – funny, we were both shifting, by night embracing, at daytime, becoming ghosts. It happens, I muttered, everything changes, our friends, our jobs, our views, our skin – our places of geography even – I know you’ll find your balance again, a place of belonging if you will …
Tell me, I asked my friend, what is worth noting from the many years you were together? He looked at me sensitively, then he said; too much self-restrain, too fearful of taking risks, and too much hesitation of being surprised. Yes; I responded, there are times when such feelings overwhelm our natural state of grace – detachment often follows, then we fall.
Where do you see yourself at in the next year or so? Hard to say, he replied – I met someone already, yet, there’s something too technical at play, as if invisible social forces were guiding an encounter to nowhere; more work related than anything else – I fell I have lost spontaneity, it is a bland plateau of bureaucratic jargons – can I be faithful once again?
I see – but, you are after all embarked on an important social and political endeavour, right? Sure, my friend said – and yet, something is in reverse, my former quality of life breaking down, habitual friends vanishing …
I can appreciate that, I said – there will be nightmares to overcome; new authorities to lead our doings, and new lovers to surrender our wants – don’t despair too much; no laws have been broken. Something will be shining for you soon; my advice?
Take it slow, a deep breath as it were, get use to uncertainty, the new “normal” countdown to expiration date – summon deep courage, and take a new project in the meantime, don’t let depression drown you; our journey is precarious brother, constant nostalgia unhelpful; let’s celebrate the magic of still being here, slowly coming out of the shadows.
© Leo Campos Aldunez
Edmonton, AB (Canada)
Music: Shape of my Heart
Album: Ten Summoner’s Tales
Sting © 1993 | https://youtu.be/ZuI61cTNbAk