Anniversaries that I hate

lundi, le 05 octobre 2009

It is that time of month when the bitter anniversary comes around again. A week or so ago I thought it would be a good idea to invite my nearest and dearest friends for supper tonight. Those who have been so relentlessly generous in their support, their understanding and in the lending of their ears. Those who have been feeding me plates piled high with nourishing soul food. I thought I’d treat them to my French favourites, as a tiny gesture of heartfelt appreciation: Oeuf Cocotte and Magret de Canard.

But as today dragged nearer, I realised that I’m nowhere near strong enough to cook up a storm in my kitchen when the only storm I’m aware of is the storm raging in my heart and my mind. I’d be far more inclined to, in true ’Like water for chocolate’ fashion, shed tears in my delicious, well-balanced bitter sweet berry sauce. With an unattainable love in mind, I’d risk transferring my love, my feelings and my memories into my favourite dishes. I may end up with a dinner table of guests deeply melancholic or, heavens forbid, my culinary delights may inspire someone to leave my house naked with a revolutionary soldier. Not that I had a revolutionary soldier in mind to invite, but you never know what lurks in the hearts and minds of those I know well.

At least I get to visit The Shrink today. She asks me how I’ve been. I tell her stupid. I tell her I dropped a book off for L’homme at his place of work last week. I tell her I gave him access to some of the things I have been writing since he left. I tell her that the book was intended to explain my writings, to provide some insight on where I was coming from and where I am hopefully heading towards. I tell her that my writings about L’homme are not embellished, it’s the brutal honest truth of my life, my heart, my mind without him.

I tell her I always prided myself in never saying things about L’homme behind his back that I wasn’t prepared to tell him to his face. I tell her that I have lately been feeling that I am now discussing him with others and I am not telling him about it. I tell her that morally or ethically it has been tugging at my conscience. I tell her I had no choice, I had to give him the book and tell him what I was writing, to appease the voices in my heart and in my soul.

I tell her this sparked some e-mail exchanges between L’homme and I. He would fetch the book and he has always wanted me to write and now I am doing it and, as he expected, doing it very well. A blanket folds warmly around my heart.

I remind him that I have always written in the times without him. I have years of experience of gut-wrenching writing. He tells me he has read some more and finds it squirm worthy, but he won’t hold it against me. A blanket folds warmly around my heart.

Later he lets me know that he has read even more of what I have written. He thinks I write beautifully and that he is increasingly not looking good in what I have to say. He tells me I don’t come across as being bitter and bitchy. A blanket folds warmly around my heart.

I want to reply to him that I have never been bitter and bitchy where he is concerned. I have been wanting and needy, Nora and Timid Trudy, hurt and angry. I have been searching in every corner of his mind, in his eyes, in his touch, in the words from his mouth for intimate love I have found it not. I don’t reply.

I tell The Shrink that even later I get another message from L’homme. He says that my writing is not about him, it’s about me. And that it is addictive reading. I tell her that I burst out laughing. I tell her that only a true, blue-blooded masochistic narcissist could derive so much pleasure from reading something so squirm worthy! A blanket folds warmly around my heart.

That is why I love L’homme so very, very much. Oh my love, you have an uncanny ability to, with very few words, make me laugh at something I perceive so serious, so painful. With few words and a healthy dose of laughter, you can make me feel that everything will fine, it will be light, it will be bright.

The Shrink asks me how I’m doing with my list of things that are better/worse for me since L’homme has left. I tell her that I actually did re-visit my list the other day. I tell her I had nothing to add, my list still looks like this:

On a cold summer day I walk back home. At least my heart is wrapped warmly in the blankets L’homme gave me. It pumps my blood somewhat more easily through my veins, to my mind. I think back on the past four months. I think I may have shed some of my anger, but not my sadness, my love, my longing.

I wonder whether L’homme celebrates the anniversary with wine, women and song. I wonder whether he realises it is an anniversary at all. I wonder whether any of the uncomplicated sex he has found has already turned complicated, has followed the path from liking too much to wanting and needing. To making sacrifices, to buying gifts, to spending money, to taking trips. None on L’homme’s expense.

If this were true, would I be jealous? I think not. I will be hurt because of the ease with which L’homme can eradicate thirteen years. But for her I will mainly feel pity. It will just be a matter of time before she, too, gets hurt.

(The story in the photograph: In celebration of My Mother’s 90th birthday last year, I whisked her, L’homme and myself off on a journey on ‘The Most Luxurious Train in the World’. They make the beds beautifully in the evenings with soft blankets to cuddle under warmly while sipping sparkling wine and watching the moonlit countryside go by. A truly unforgettable experience.)


  1. I'm new to your blog and read a few posts. It sounds like you're still hooked on l'homme. Oh those games they/we play. I know, I lived there during my twenties. Are you American? I couldn't really find your bio. France and French culture is so much more passionate, in general, good and bad.

  2. Rispa, Is it better to have Loved and Lost than to Never have Loved at all?