Sunday, 20 July 2008

Historian of the Self

I have been perusing the fruits of intellectual hooliganism of yore.

In my perusal, I came across the following gem of delightful post-adolescent optimism. And thought, dear reader, that I'd better share it with you. So: this is me, aged 20 or so ... 
When I first meet you, it is the perfect ice-cream-come-true epiphany: the kind about which second-rate romantic poets can but dream. We are made for one-another - yang and yin (oh - inversion. "the smooth and rough"? Cheers, Yeats, mate, but no...); two corresponding sections of the sundered circle. Alliteration not required, but pleasant enough. Maybe nobody made us; but we are made for each other.

At some point, I talk to you - perhaps "accidentally" brush your knee with my hand. Perhaps you think of Jean-Claude Brialy. Perhaps you do not. This is - relatively - unimportant. You are the first person truly to fascinate me - the first person I find harder to comprehend than myself. You are that last, unsolveable cryptic crossword clue. Baby. Hell yes. Oh... baby.

Spool time forward. Now we kiss. There's no string-laden soundtrack, swelling in the background; but nobody seems to notice. Only the Freudian analysts underline "swelling". And then whatever else seems appealing may occur. Obey the Mills and Boon stereotype. But probably with a couple of awkward silences along the way. A nod to Modernist realism. A courteous nod - as passing one's tutor on Cowley Road. As he/she ducks furtively out of the sex shop.

We become inseparable - or, as Plato might've preferred to put it (assuming, of course, that he would have cared to put it in any way whatsoever), return to the natural inseparability of our reunified whole. Whatsomever. Dude. Each of us knows how the other feels; each can speak to the other without words.

I am aware of this mutual dependency between us; this magnetic pull between two non-magnetic entities. So much for conceit. And I realise I am perhaps not so hard to comprehend after all. So much for conceit. And I realise that any conversation without you seems stilted; any social situation without you rousing within me the same nagging splinter of annoyance of a game of chess with one pawn replaced by a monopoly hotel. And I am hardly surprised at all to find, one day, that I hate you.

Soon, perhaps, the cycle will begin again.

And I can do Romantic, too.
What discoveries one makes, scouring old hard-drives, eh? Wonderful stuff.

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