returning to the place in which i fell in love with him is seldom possible. it's concealed most of the time; i've constructed layers and layers of useless thought and quasi-logic over that one raw spot in my person in which i felt myself drifting towards him, at first by choice and then irrevocably, until i was bound to him. that place is lost now, a wooden toy ship out on a wild ocean thousands of miles in width. when i try to revisit it, it often feels too contrived, too affected to be real - 'i need emotion now', i'll think as i begin to play, or speak -- 'give him to me'.
but sometimes, in those rare moments of inspiration or grief, i can return there properly, the space in my heart where i keep just the memories: the way he looked that night, gold-skinned and laughing; his voice in greeting and the hardened footsteps down the corridor away from me; the way he could talk with passion while i was empty, hollow, before him. it happens when i'm playing the violin, or the sun's streaking pink over the city, or when i'm remembering my grief for the things he made me care about. and i love those minutes, those seconds -- they make me keel over, crippled; i have to stop; something hard rises in my throat; my breathing teeters on the edge. it's painful, but it reminds me of that which makes my heart beat every day, the reason i've grown as a person and as a creator.
being in love comes with a lot of baggage, and that's self-hatred and doubt and insecurity. i tried to make myself good enough to be in love with him, but i've never been clever enough, or thin enough, or high-achieving enough. it's a losing battle; i can't transform myself from nothing to everything over ten weeks, nor can i hope to alter that which is unalterable about myself. but revisiting that place stops me from thinking about that because it stops me from thinking about myself, and he inhabits the whole of my mind, even if just for a fraction of a second. afterwards, those moments harden me to live to fight another day, to better myself somehow, no matter the cost.
without this space inside me, i'd have nothing of him. looking back from that place, though, i can smell the musk, the scent of my years with him. i can feel the lightness of walking down a corridor to a room i knew contained him. i can recall the b i g way i felt (because all of the feeling was really too large for me at the time) and the way i wrote, because i knew i'd lose him. and then, as when you lose anyone you care about, i remember the clock; tick, tock. the number of months until he's gone, then weeks, then days, then hours, minutes, seconds. 'things don't just leave; they don't just disappear'. that phrase still haunts me, although it turned out to be true.
visiting old spaces is always sad and happy in equal measure, partly because we do not feel that we can achieve such intense happiness again and partly because with places come ghosts of those we lost, those who shaped us, and it never stops being unfair that we were made to feel for them before they were taken. i've always been grateful for him, and i'd be lying heinously if i were to say that the pain outweighs the happiness - i've never ceased to see love as a gift, both to my mind and my spirit. pretending that the damage is more long-lasting than the emotional capital gained is a fallacy - that's why i'd not take back the way i felt, and feel, for anything. because the only thing more beautiful than 'i love you' is 'i love you still'.
I'm not trying to prove a point by not capitalising anything, I'm just being really lazy