"Your love has caught me darling
you've trapped me in your web,
You've tied my hands with silken cords
and tangled up my head,
You took away the roses
but the thorns are what I miss,
My heart is pumping desert sand
and you are my oasis..."-Space Team Electra
The first time she told me she loved me was in the swan song nights with her musician x. They'd been in-another-fight-shocking...really, I mean it...stop fucking laughing!-and, being the friend and confidant I was at the time, I was there for a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Yet, even as I reached out to comfort her, she recoiled.
"Please don't," she sobbed. "I love you too much for you to see me like this."
"Excuse me?" I wasn't sure I heard what I heard. After all, I've listened to a lot of loud music in my time. She shot me a look, her big doe eyes that shine like abalone shells blazing with emotion.
"Like you didn't know!"
The first time I mentioned I loved her was in the same breath as stabbing her in the gallbladder, but, hey, it wasn't my fault, she fucking started it...
I have been married before, and it has gone badly. Actually, the married part wasn't totally horrific. Truth be told, I kind of enjoyed it. It was the being kicked to the curb, the brain damage of divorce that I could do without. Then again, who really enjoys a breakup of any kind? No one sane, I'd speculate.
I told her once that I'd gotten cynical enough about marriage I'd only consider it if I was purposed to, and to fuckery with the social construct of reality to the contrary. I sure as fuck wasn't having any more girlfriends. One of my last girlfriends had left me with some deep psychic scars, and that just doesn't work for me.
One night at her studio flat, whilst listening to jazz and drinking wine, she crawled into my lap just like she belonged there. Many times before, she'd mentioned we fit, and I still vividly recall the first time she demonstrated. It was two days before our fateful first hop to the mountains in which we'd discover our Kashmir, and she asked me to marry her. I told her I was going to hold her to it, and, a few years later, the bruja did a semi-serious ceremony for us in the kitchen of the House of Owls and Bats. We high fived. It was fantastic.
Yet she tries to deny it. She'll make noises like she's being burned alive, noises hardly befitting someone nine years closer to half a century than I-and kook-koo-kachu, Mrs Robinson-if you use spousal terms in context of the two of us. Sempi calls her my not-wife, and, when not calling her my companion, I refer to her as my significant otter or my WTF? and that's just the way of it. It still doesn't stop me from reminding her that she did purpose to me.
"You came to me, Docksey. It wasn't the other way around."
"I was drunk!" She'll protest, which she knows I see as a chickenshit excuse.
"Bah! And I might have been a little drunk the first time I innocently, wholesomely, lanced you with my white-hot love-truncheon," I retort. "And you don't see me recanting, now do you?"
And she shakes her head and rolls her eyes at me when I say that, though I cannot fathom why...
What? Were you expecting a love story?
It's not like I didn't try to warn her away. Me being me, which is an aberration, I might not be the easiest cat to live with in the best of times. Being the way she is, she didn't listen to me, because she can be obstinate, which is a polite way of saying stubborn as a half-starved ass.
"And look at what it's gotten us," she said the last time I reminded her of the afore mentioned obstinateness. It was a crisp day in our Sahel and we were out on walkabout. Chances are I at least smirked. I may have even kissed her.
I was charged with checking the post. This happens every now and again. In the box was a postcard. The message was in all lower-case letters-how E. E. Cummings-and purple ink;
"lilacs are purple,
daffodils golden like sunshine,
please won't you be my valentine?"
I might have smirked and muttered something under my breath about being smacked with a social construct on a particular calendar date. Were I romantic, I might have done a shruggie-thing, like a girl when she first falls in love. Luckily, I don't have a romantic bone in my body, because that would've been embarrassing.