I’m afraid that I won’t be able to continue loving you. At least, at the present level, quality and exclusivity. It’s nothing either of us did or ceased doing. It’s just nature, of which we are irretrievably part, that decrees that everything perishes… Would you venture to persist – as impossible as that enterprise is, a sure path to madness and most probably an early and shameful death -, unnaturally, in something as precious, and delicate, and ephemeral, as love? That kind of experiments, I mean the attempted transgression of natural laws, never end well, Margaret. Literature and history are plagued with examples in that sense.
You’ll agree with me that we had… What? Two, three years of decent love? That is by far more than many couples can ask for. People usually ruin things after a few months – let’s say six, seven years, just to be on the sure side of the Gaussian bell. That’s how long it takes them to be themselves again and not the product of the initial infatuation – that pretended new self. We are destined to fall in love with the ineffectiveness of the image of the other that we end up creating, believing… Or, what is the same, we fall in love with the image of ourselves that the loved one, as an intermediary, facilitates. Thus, the loved one is nothing but a projection of an ideal self, that is, is the intermediary for one’s own self-confidence, of the will to be a better version of one-self. Too fuzzy? Yes, it is.
Anyway, back to what I was saying, without endings, we wouldn’t value neither life nor love as we do. If it were to persevere, to become a long existence, it would be part of the domains of mineralogy, or something of the sort… We were passionate about each other like few are… Oh, no, I don’t mean to say that we aren’t anymore, but let’s be honest, we are leaning towards routine and conformism, which ultimately will be the elements that persist, those that stick people together in relationships that hardly ever result in mutualistic symbiotic interactions – sometimes, with luck, they become commensalistic relations; but most of the time they become parasitic relations.
Oh, if only we could break away from this natural disposition…. But then, those subjects that we would be, maybe would not need love – at least, as we know it, as we practice it – and even maybe would abhor it as some kind of useless distraction, as a form of weakness. Or even worse, Margaret – I say worse because this hypothesis would imply its non-existence -, not knowing the concept itself…
But as I was saying, by persisting in what cannot be – by going contra-natura, my dear -, I think we would end up doing love a disservice, not to mention, hurting each other immensely. By accepting the inevitable we are not denying love and it`s countless virtues, but exalting it, stating out loud that practiced in a responsible way, it can actually become a preferred tool for achieving happiness (one type of happiness or fulfilment, of course; for a constructive symbiosis that allows the parties involved to grow, to enrich spiritually and intellectually). By clinging to an expired love, we transform it into a source of pain, of regret and frustrations. I think you can agree on this with me; it’s self-evident, and both of us have seen or heard of enough examples of this harmful behaviour. You told me – What? A couple of weeks ago? – of your friend Marcia and her boyfriend’s toxic relationship; that was how you put it. And what you described was, according to your words, “confusing love for something entirely different, and dysfunctional.” You just expressed what I’m trying to say with other words, with the words we learned to avoid saying explicitly what’s wrong, as if truth could harm love, could harm anything.
You would want love to become, as I was saying, a source of utter pain, frustration? Wouldn’t you contribute to its expansion, that is, to nurture, exalt it as a common good, for generations to come to have that affective space, that emotional safe space? A space that, by the way, is a source of motivation for art and science – because, generous Margaret, everybody wants to impress, to conquer the loved one through achievements, success. Who are we, then, to deny our civilization that milieu for progress?
Oh, Adelle… Did I say Adelle? I don’t know why I would say that, I don’t know any Adelle. There’s a singer, if I remember correctly. And a movie, by Woody Allen. No? Are you sure? Anywhere, it’s unimportant. I was saying, sweet and benevolent Margaret, do you believe for a second that I’m accepting these indisputable facts with anything but pain? And a great dose of angers arose from my innermost being making me want to rebel against those very facts, against nature itself… Oh, such an egoistic impulse… But then I think that succumbing to it is nothing but succumbing to a fraudulent selfish illusion – it’s the self against the self – that love can endure. Ultimately, I choose to live in the realm of reality, away from the delusions that keep creating the hope (in reality it’s the most devious deception) that by clinging to an exhausted love, we will be happier, or at least much less hapless, than acknowledging truth, reality. I do this last thing because it’s that imagery that prevents our realization, our evolution. Not just ours, but that of the loved one.
Would you believe that, if it were not so, I could even accept the idea of not seeing you anymore? Could you even think for a second that if it wasn’t for your own good, for the sake of posterity, I would pay such a price? And I do it without expecting applause, so to speak, but, on the contrary, maybe even your loathing…
I know I’m a pioneer of sorts, a vanguardist, Adelle. What? Again? You put that name in my mind and, being nervous and in emotional pain as I am, I repeat it unconsciously, as if I wanted you to be someone else, because it would mean that you would be out there and I could meet you… But now, you are not Josephine, nor… What was the name? Adelle, or any other… I hope you understand me, maybe even support me; if not now, maybe in our lifetime. I loved you as much as a man is allowed to love without becoming the other person. I did, Margaret.
And now, to see Adelle. Finally, without guilt… But, will this lessen the passion she awakens in me? Well, if it does, I could always find myself a mistress for whom I felt nothing more than a bond of need. Oh, but then wouldn’t I feel guilty with Adelle as I felt with Margaret? And then, most importantly, is this the kind of life a forty-five-year-old man should be leading? For God’s sake, I’m fifty-one. I have reached the point where I treat myself as someone else, that is, where I lie to myself as if I were trying to win me over or gain an advantage. So, I’m officially an asshole. But then, I’ve always been one. At least, I don’t remember having been other than me. So… So, I’ll go to Adelle’s, and I’ll see from there. Like I’ve always done.
© Marcelo Wio