It’s funny. I know expressing a peace and tranquillity in being alone may sound a bit weird. But I think we get trained out of enjoying just … our own company. My daughter, in Paris these past few weeks, working as an au-pair, has found it oh so difficult to explain to her hosts that she doesn’t need incessantly taking places; what she really needs is to allow her body to wander as much as her super-creative mind.
And I know it may appear that falling in love and being roundly rejected – as happened to me in the last twelve months – makes me then try and make out, falsely one assumes, that all I ever wanted in the first place was to be on my own … but, actually, when you slowly, ever so slowly, relearn the ability to – as I say above – “enjoy your own company”, a whole slew of horrible things stop happening.
Firstly, the sadness of never being sure whether you said the right thing or not. Secondly, the badness of chasing someone almost pervertedly against their own will. Thirdly, not being able to do or think of doing anything else with one’s fullest concentration. Fourthly, just making an ass of yourself. Fifthly, not being able to see the world as it properly is. And sixthly, forgetting that each person’s life belongs to each individual; not at all to the people who claim, equally falsely, to love us back.
I’m not recanting. I’m not excusing. I’m not saying I no longer love the person I fell in love with. I can’t not love them. I will love them forever.
And I’m not even saying I can sincerely move on. But I can create a parallel universe in which the meantime can begin to take over what I think and breathe every minute of the day.
I shall never fall out of love with any of the women I once became so enamoured of. I shall never reject their persons, nor their importance in my life – however briefly they were there. And I shall never even define this importance in terms of how long this was – or exactly what it was I did with them.
The woman I most love, I have spent barely five hours sharing food with.
The woman who never loved me back as first I needed, and then latterly more significantly as I wanted, has occupied several decades of my life.
But each and every woman I have been confused by – and for me, confusion is the delicious definition of how I go about my falling in love – will always be inside my mind, waiting to confuse me again.
And so I thank the universe that this is so.
And I would never have it any other way.