To my therapist

I’m sitting alone on the headland at the point.  Just over there is the cliff I could use if I wanted to jump.  Not tonight.  Probably not ever.  My lover says that would be a good place to jump.  I think one day she will.  If not here then somewhere else.  I wonder if I’ll know.  That will be the fulfilment and completion of my failure, absolute confirmation of the futility of every thing I do and think and feel. And as such, I suppose it doesn’t matter if I know or not.

It’s a beautiful night.  Not a soul in the world knows that I’m here.  On the way up I thought, this is a gift too.  This silence, this space.  Yes, even this solitude.  I hate it so much.  But I probably need it.  Maybe one day I’ll look back and appreciate this time.

I could stay here all night.  No children, no wife, no lover, no employer – nobody is going to wonder where I am.  I’ve paid in my heart’s blood for this freedom, and I am trying to escape it as fast as I can.  But in the meantime, costly as it has been, I should appreciate it.

Only you are here.  I wonder if you think of me.  I think you know I am here.  Maybe not this place, but you know I am somewhere like this. When you think of it.

So I am here alone with only my ghosts, you being the most substantial right now.  And my lover, who owns every second rib and half a decilitre of each breath. She’s always here.  And words, again I turn to words.

I’ve written 150,000 words to my lover, counting the ones I could find.  Every syllable useless.  Not one scrap of salvation in any of them for her or for me.  I bled out the best of me into them.  Not nearly enough.  Not even close.

I wrote this for her one night, when I was sick of the sound of my voice and all my useless analyses and syntheses and rationalisations:

Dry words, dead words,
Litter my bed,
Bruise my ribs
While elsewhere
The warmth of the blood beneath your skin
The curl of the hair on your neck.
I toss and turn
Pieces of broken dreams pierce my skin
And leave my sheets bloody
While you breathe and sigh
In pleasure and in pain
In another bed.
Too many words
Clogging my throat
Sterile and dead
All of them futile
Because life is elsewhere.

And now you, more words for you.  More words that again will sink to the bottom of the pond.  Because you and I already have our parting in view.  As is right, and good, and it will be a great day for many reasons.  In the meantime, I’m so glad you are here.  You are giving birth to my future, and like every childhood we’ll know it was good by the way we can leave it behind.

These words, this love, this pouring out of myself.  It’s something I need to do, and I don’t regret any of it.  But I so yearn to be giving these gifts to somebody who wants to keep them.  Who wants to build something on them.

The yachts are passing by just offshore in the darkness.  There’s a gentle breeze, cicadas, the sound of the waves at the foot of the cliff.

I was going to come up here and call my family.  They are worried about me.  Sometimes when I’m too distraught to filter it out I let slip how dark my thoughts are.  It terrifies them, and they have no idea what to do or say.  Or how to wait out this time with me.  Every conversation has to have a conclusion.  So in the end, I have to reassure them.

Tonight, when I got here,  I didn’t want to be reassuring, didn’t want to be smoothing over the ugly crevasses in my life for those who can’t bear to stare into them with me.  So I’m writing to you instead.

I know if you were here, you would be able to be quiet with me, and hear what I’m hearing.  The waves, and the cicadas.   And my wounds and sorrows wouldn’t frighten you.  We could look into those pits together.  Or not.  Just watch the yachts, and laugh at nothing, and at life.


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