My birthday is on the 16th of June. I am now 54; soon enough, will be 55.
Last year, in Dublin, I laid my eyes on the sweetest, grandest woman I ever will meet.
It didn’t work out; didn’t even start working; but I shall never forget, and I shall always be grateful.
Dublin is the very best; the people who live there, more so …
In the meantime, since the two evenings I snatched with her just under a year ago, I am now breaking – I hope irrevocably – free of a prior relationship which has abused me so invisibly and silently for almost thirty years: from the night of our wedding, never beloved and never loved, to as late as last night, when disloyalty is adjudged for shooting the breeze by watching the world as well as the spouse.
I am strong now: let this be clear. After spending a lifetime believing the violence to be outside, I now see the hurt was sourced much closer to my home.
I roamed this rock in anger at dastardly bastard.
But the dastardly bastard was my partner in life: a strife I took so long to see as bad in almost every sense.
When I let go of both sad and glad in order to survive the wed you twisted me into, I realise how much I forewent as lover and husband – untouched, unloved and ultimately undone.
It will finally be over – this I assure yous I know – when I return to Dublin on May the 15th, 2017. Not Bloomsday this time; a different time to rhyme, maybe.
And so yous taught me the real meaning of your love as it stands: to show me the best of life, and make me realise of course it should be mine – for the taking and breaking and making-up, and pleasures.
And although neither of your loves will ever extend to touch, I know now elsewhere – shortly free, as I shall be, of the violence I’ve suffered all this time – I will one day discover not only the kindness of both your humanities, but also – why not? – the embrace of a woman’s human, physical love.
That time when a woman and a man don’t battle to win such war but, instead, reach out in happiness – to be more with each other than hearts ever apart.
That is the start towards which I’m finally headed.
Job well done.
And this is the song …